UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

UN-Women and CIDA Joint Statement of Action

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Date: 05 October 2011

UN Women and CIDA joint statement of action at closing of Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment. Ottawa, October 3-5, 2011.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) are committed to taking practical actions to support women's economic empowerment.

To help make this shared commitment a reality, CIDA and UN Women organized an international Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment in Ottawa from October 3 - 5, 2011. The meeting was hosted by the Honourable Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley Oda, and the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet.

The conference assembled more than 100 global experts, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, development practitioners, academics and, business and industry leaders to share their experiences and best practices on how to break down the barriers to women's economic empowerment. Participants, from both the developing and developed world, identified ways to realize the economic potential of women, expand their access to markets, and strengthen women's economic security and rights.

Throughout the world, women are vital economic players. Hundreds of millions of women are undertaking critical roles in industry, agriculture, manufacturing, and services. In every country, women face the particular challenges of their national context, especially in developing economies.

Through a series of high-profile roundtables, conference participants provided key recommendations for action to advance women's economic opportunities.

As a result of the Conference, UN Women and CIDA made the following commitments:

UN Women, in line with its newly adopted Strategic Plan (and in partnership with the broader UN system and beyond), will:

  • Work more closely with the private sector towards making markets more responsive to women as entrepreneurs and workers.
  • Strengthen coordination and partnership on women's economic empowerment indicators and enhance their use in policy making, programming and monitoring.
  • Support Governments' efforts in developing plans, policies and strategies that recognize women's contribution to growth and social well being and place a special focus on women's economic empowerment.
  • Give special emphasis to economically marginalized women as food producers and key development agents.
  • Enhance the voice and participation of gender equality advocates and gender-sensitive economists in influencing the formulation, implementation and monitoring of economic policies and programs.

CIDA, in line with its Aid Effectiveness Agenda, will:

  • Partner with like-minded organisations, such as UN Women and the World Bank, to help break down barriers impeding women's economic empowerment.
  • Increase access to education and training opportunities, including demand driven-skills, for women and girls to enable them to take advantage of economic opportunities.
  • Improve the productivity of smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers, to increase access to food and achieve food security.
  • Emphasize women's economic empowerment by targeting initiatives that increase women's economic opportunities, strengthen their economic leadership, and advance the rights of women worldwide.
  • Work to establish equitable business and employment laws, standards and regulations, including addressing issues of access to property and land titles.
  • Increase women's access to financial services, markets, and information on how to increase productivity, including working more closely with the private sector.

Jointly, UN Women and CIDA will:

  • Develop an on-line Knowledge Gateway on Women's Economic Empowerment to increase the availability of applied research and knowledge for entrepreneurs, practitioners and policy thinkers from around the world. This Gateway will become a one-stop service providing the most up-to-date information, technical resources and best practices on business and economic opportunities.
  • Promote international engagement on women's economic empowerment at events such as the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness and the 56th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

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