Strengthening women in developing countries
Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller is hosting a G7 conference in Berlin. It focuses on ways of helping women in developing countries participate in economic life. The aim is to improve their living conditions, give them greater charge of their own lives and reduce discrimination.
The economic empowerment of women in developing countries is the focus of a G7 conference in Berlin on 9 and 10 November. Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller will be discussing with representatives of the business community and international non-governmental organisations the potentials offered by vocational and technical education and training for women and girls.
Their talks will revolve around the strategic importance of the private sector in strengthening the role of women. On Tuesday’s (10 November) the Women’s Empowerment Principles of UN Women and the UN Global Compact are to be signed.
Signal for gender equality
The conference aims to give a signal for the implementation of the Leaders’ Declaration of the G7 summit in June in Schloss Elmau and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with respect to gender equality. One option that will be presented is partnerships between developing countries and G7 states with a view to overcoming the persistent discrimination suffered by women.
At the G7 summit it was noted that women’s entrepreneurship is a key driver of innovation, growth and jobs. Yet significantly fewer women than men run their own businesses, both in G7 states and around the globe. This is often a reflection of the additional obstacles that stand in the way of women.
To respond to the special needs of women entrepreneurs, their access to financing, markets, skills, managerial responsibility and networks is to be strengthened. Milestones along the way include the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women held under Germany’s G7 Presidency on 16 and 17 September 2015, and the World Assembly for Women: WAW! to be held under Japan’s G7 Presidency in 2016.
Extract from the Leaders’ Declaration from the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau:
Women’s economic participation reduces poverty and inequality, promotes growth and benefits all. Yet women regularly face discrimination which impedes economic potential, jeopardizes investment in development, and constitutes a violation of their human rights. We will support our partners in developing countries and within our own countries to overcome discrimination, sexual harassment, violence against women and girls and other cultural, social, economic and legal barriers to women’s economic participation.
We recognise that being equipped with relevant skills for decent work, especially through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) via formal and non-formal learning, is key to the economic empowerment of women and girls, including those who face multiple sources of discrimination (e. g. women and girls with disabilities), and to improving their employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. We commit to increasing the number of women and girls technically and vocationally educated and trained in developing countries through G7 measures by one third (compared to “business as usual”) by 2030. (…)
The private sector also has a vital role in creating an environment in which women can more meaningfully participate in the economy. We therefore support the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and call on companies worldwide to integrate them into their activities. We will coordinate our efforts through a new G7 working group on women.
Sunday, 08 November 2015