(New York, 23 September) - Against the backdrop of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, UN Women in partnership with the Government of Canada today launched the Global Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment (www.empowerwomen.org). This open online platform seeks to re-vitalize women’s economic empowerment by building connections, and bringing together people who need resources with those that have them.
Women make significant contributions to the economy in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs and employees, and by undertaking the bulk of unpaid care work at home. Of those employed, the majority are in informal and vulnerable employment, with nearly two-thirds of women largely outside the protection of the law in 2011. The Knowledge Gateway was triggered by the growing evidence that investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.
“Today’s launch of the Global Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment marks an important milestone in promoting women’s economic empowerment,” said Lynne Yelich, Canada’s Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular). “Canada is proud to support women’s economic empowerment by focusing on initiatives that increase women’s economic leadership and advance the rights of women worldwide.”
Focusing on a range of trends and factors that drive women's economic empowerment, including economic policy, employment, statistics, resources, entrepreneurship and leadership, to energy, climate, the environment and agriculture, the platform aims to scale up opportunities and capacity. It will leverage existing resources and networks amongst governments, the UN system, private sector, civil society, and the public.
“I will give a push to women’s economic empowerment because this is essential to ending poverty and advancing gender equality. Women have a right to equal opportunities and equal access to information, resources and training. This is why I am so proud of our new online partnership platform to advance the economic empowerment of women. When women are empowered, the benefits ripple outwards and strengthen societies and economies. I encourage everyone to join us at empowerwomen.org and be part of this exciting initiative,” said PhumzileMlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.
The online platform will bring together partners—such as UN system agencies, governments, civil society and the private sector—and connect them with women entrepreneurs, practitioners, researchers and gender activists from around the world. Partners already on board to drive women’s economic empowerment on the Knowledge Gateway include the UN Global Compact, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, Microsoft, the Coca-Cola Company, Women’s World Banking, Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the UN World Tourism Organization, the International Association for Feminist Economics. The advisory board also has members from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Labour Organization.
It will provide up-to-date information, technical resources and good practices for women’s business and economic opportunities. Online discussions and a Learning Centre with regular e-courses and webinars are interactive features of the portal.
In addition to a team in New York, the Knowledge Gateway will have regional presence in Bangkok, Cairo, Dakar, Istanbul, Nairobi and Panama to effectively capture local knowledge and facilitate outreach activities.
The Knowledge Gateway came about as a result of the international conference on women’s economic empowerment jointly organized by UN Women and Canada in October 2011 in Ottawa, Canada. One of the main recommendations was the need for a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing and knowledge creation around the topic of women’s economic empowerment.
For more information and to join this initiative: www.empowerwomen.org
The live webcast of the event is available at: www.empowerwomen.org