Ms. Bachelet at LDC-IV, Istanbul: Private Sector Critical to Women’s Empowerment

Date: Monday, May 9, 2011

Istanbul—During a high-level meeting on investment and partnerships at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) on 9 May, more than 450 Heads of State and Government, chief executives and global leaders, including H.E. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, convened to discuss concrete actions that the private sector and stakeholders can take to contribute to the sustainable development of LDCs. UN Women Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director Ms. Michelle Bachelet underscored the critical role of partnerships with the private sector in advancing women's empowerment.

Ms. Bachelet spoke to the linkages between the economic empowerment of women and overall economic growth and development, noting, in particular, the critical role of the private sector in supporting women to move up the value chain. She also emphasized the importance of designing strategies and initiatives that increase women's access to a diverse set of financial services, including savings instruments, remittance transfers, credit and insurance, of particular importance for women-owned small- and medium-size enterprises.

Ms. Bachelet called on global business leaders to demonstrate their commitment to achieving gender equality by signing the CEO Statement of Support for the Women's Empowerment Principles — a set of Principles, developed by UN Women and United Nations Global Compact, to offer guidance to businesses and the private sector on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

She urged business leaders to act swiftly and effectively advance women's economic empowerment. “It is not only the right thing to do; it is a strategy for growth and development, Ms. Bachelet said.

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