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UN Women launches Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy

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The UN Women on Sunday launched its comprehensive Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy aimed at accelerating gender equality and fostering inclusive economic growth during the first side event on the margins of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Annual meetings.

UN Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy is designed to empower women through targeted initiatives that enhance their access to resources, opportunities, and leadership roles in the economy.

The strategy prioritizes three key areas essential for achieving gender equality: women and the world of work, gender-responsive climate action, and transforming care systems. These are underpinned by promoting gender-responsive macroeconomic policies, addressing discriminatory social norms, and increasing financing for gender equality.

Speaking during the launch, Sarah Hendriks, UN Women’s Director of Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division noted that the strategy articulates the UN Women’s vision and priorities as an organization and ways of working to support women to thrive and economies to prosper.

“Women’s economic empowerment is not just a matter of social justice; it is an economic imperative. By unlocking the potential of women, we can drive sustainable development and foster resilient economies,” she said.

The side event also fostered dialogue between UN Women, the African Development Bank Group, and other key partners which aim to drive transformative solutions for women’s economic empowerment at the local, national, and global level, ensuring no woman is left behind.

Attended by key stakeholders, including government officials, civil society leaders, private sector representatives, and international development partners, the event underscored the importance of a coordinated approach to fostering gender equality.

In their Ten-year Strategy (2024-2033) to be launched on Thursday and its 2021-2025 Gender Strategy the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) prioritizes gender equality, placing women’s empowerment at the heart of the strategy.

This focus translates into real results: through AFAWA, the Bank approved $1.7 billion for women entrepreneurs across 43 countries, a tenfold increase in investments towards women-owned and led businesses. With over 18,000 women entrepreneurs already benefiting, and over 75% of sovereign operations assessed using a gender lens approach in 2023, the Bank demonstrates its unwavering commitment to women’s economic empowerment.

“The Bank is committed to implement policies that promote gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, as well as discrimination across Africa. We must listen and amplify the voices of women, while ensuring that Africa’s women have equal opportunity. Empowering African women is a moral imperative – as well as smart economics” said Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank Group.

UN Women also announced Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the Africa Development Bank as a HeForShe Champion. HeForShe is a solidarity movement inviting men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.

The Bank joins the HeForShe Alliance to continue spearheading transformative change toward achieving a gender-equal world.

 

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