The Coca-Cola Company and UN Women Form Global Partnership to Accelerate Women’s Economic Empowerment
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011
New York — The Coca-Cola Company and UN Women today announced a partnership to promote women's economic empowerment. Responding to both UN Women's Strategic Plan and The Coca-Cola Company's global 5 BY 20 initiative, this partnership aims to enable the empowerment of women entrepreneurs by building upon the strengths of both organizations.
The Coca-Cola Company's 5 BY 20 initiative seeks to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain by 2020. Specifically, the Company is developing and implementing programs to help break down barriers for women entrepreneurs in the small businesses that The Coca-Cola System touches. Examples of businesses include fruit farmers, shopkeepers, recycling collectors and artisans.
UN Women's Strategic Plan lays out a range of initiatives that it will support, from promoting laws and policies that provide women protection and equal rights, to employment, income-generating opportunities and access to economic resources. UN Women is also encouraging companies to sign the Women's Empowerment Principle - Equality Means Business, a set of measures geared to promote women's empowerment in the workplace and marketplace.
Through this collaboration, The Coca-Cola Company and UN Women plan to address the barriers women entrepreneurs commonly face by providing increased access to business skills training, financial services and support networks of peers and mentors.
“We believe there is no better time to invest in women as engines of economic growth and sustainable development. Women are the fastest-growing economic force and no business or economy will be able to grow without them, said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “This partnership with UN Women, which leverages their extensive expertise, will greatly impact our efforts to enable the empowerment of women around the world.
“Now more than ever, the world needs to unleash women's talent and energy if we are to make our economies and societies stronger. Companies like The Coca-Cola Company are realizing that investing in women is an essential ingredient in the formula for success, said Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. “We can no longer afford to waste the potential of half the world's population. It is both a matter of justice as well as good business and economic sense. (read her speech).
Work is already underway at the country level to identify potential programmes in areas such as business skills training programs for women-owned recycling cooperatives and women-run shops. Each organization will bring their expertise and capacity to the table through concrete on-the-ground programmes. This approach capitalizes on the comparative advantages of each, creating a public-private partnership to leverage and offer transformational opportunities for investment in women's economic opportunity.
In addition to announcing this collaboration, Mr. Kent also signed a CEO Statement of Support for the Women's Empowerment Principles, developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, to bolster corporate leadership for gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. By signing the Statement, CEOs such as Mr. Kent demonstrate their commitment to leadership on gender equality and women's empowerment as a business imperative.
About UN Women
UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their rights worldwide. UN Women supports United Nations Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. It stands behind women's equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on five priority areas: increasing women's leadership and participation; ending violence against women; engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes; enhancing women's economic empowerment; and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the United Nations system's work in advancing gender equality. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, The Coca-Cola Company is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the Coca-Cola Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
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- UN Women, Oisika Chakrabarti, +1 646 781-4522, oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org
- The Coca-Cola Company, April Jordin, +1 404 676-2683, ajordin[at]coca-cola.com