Statement by UN Women Executive Director on building partnership for equality

Statement of Michelle Bachelet at the OECD Forum 2012 on building Parnership for equality.


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We have come a long way and we still have a long way to go.

We need to work together for equality.

We know that in order to grow, an economy needs to draw on all its talent and resources- not just 50 percent of them.

We know that diversity creates the climate for innovation and new ideas, for new products and new technologies, that are needed for sustainable progress.

We know that we all, women and men, need a better work life balance to look after children and the elderly.

We know that companies with more women in management have better performance.

And we know that we need to invest in the education and skills of women and young people to drive jobs and inclusive growth. We have the data, yes we can always improve. We have the analysis. We have policy recommendations. And I have my own experience from Chile.

Gender-responsive social policies benefit women, families, society and the economy.

Through pension reform, an extensive network of education and free child care centres, social well-being and equality improved.

From 2000 to 2009, the rate of women's participation in the labour force increased by more than five percentage points, reaching nearly 42 percent.

So I know from personal experience that results can be achieved.

Now at UN Women, we are building partnerships for equality worldwide.

When it comes to promoting women's empowerment, we are not starting from scratch. There are many important initiatives taking place in all regions, including in low and middle income countries, to ensure economic justice and security for women - whether in relation to flexible childcare that enables women to participate in the labour force, fair pensions to ensure older women do not live in poverty, or cash transfers to enable families to send their girls to school.

We will use the next edition of our flagship report in 2013, Progress of the World's Women to gather evidence on the policies that work, to enable countries to learn from one another and to drive the change we want to see.

UN Women is working closely with OECD on gender statistics and analysis to measure progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment and drive sound policymaking.

Two areas in which we need stronger understanding is research to identify the underlying causes of persistent gender wage gaps and to identify possible policy solutions.

We also need better data and analysis on violence against women—not only on prevalence but also on the economic costs so that we can make a strong case to policymakers.

As we look ahead, we need to continue strong work with the international community and international development.

This is especially important for the post-2015 framework. We need to work together to ensure that gender equality and women's empowerment are prioritized in the post-2015 framework.

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