Expert Group Meeting: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work

In preparation for the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women convened an Expert Group Meeting on the priority theme: “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.” The Expert Group Meeting was held with the technical contribution and support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) at ILO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 to 28 September 2016.

In accordance with its multi-year programme of work (2016–2019), the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 2017 considered “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work” as its priority theme.

The EGM discussed the following:

  • Examine the changing world of work and its challenges and opportunities for fostering greater economic empowerment and independence for women and girls;
  • Identify policies and programmes that promote women’s economic empowerment, women’s right to work and rights at work along the continuum from informal to formal decent work;
  • Explore roles and responsibilities of governments, international bodies, the private sector, including financial institutions and pension funds, workers’ and employers’ organizations, and civil society, including women’s organizations and gender equality advocates, in determining, shaping, and influencing the world of work;
  • Develop action-oriented recommendations that support gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development based on the commitment to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, and to the protection, promotion and realization of women’s and girls’ human and labour rights.

The EGM focused on the priority theme by assessing key issues such as:

  • Enabling macroeconomic environments for employment creation and access to decent work for all
  • Global gender gaps in work and employment
  • Gendered pathways from unpaid to informal to formal decent work
  • Care economy and paid and unpaid care and domestic work
  • Violence at work
  • Social protection floors and measures
  • Rights to form, join, and mobilize through trade unions

In its deliberations, the EGM was informed by the work in progress of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The EGM also beared in mind the theme of the 2017 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world (A/70/L.60).

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Background Papers

Expert Papers