“Women CEOs and Chairs of Boards are Key Allies in Women’s Economic Empowerment” | The Guardian Nigeria News

As part of its commitment to expand partnerships with the private sector, the UN Women Country Office in Nigeria hosted a high-level roundtable with female CEOs and Board Chairs. It aims to explore the strategic alignment of UN Women and private sector priorities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

The event held in Lagos on 5-6 July 2022 attracted participants from various sectors including banking, finance, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), construction, oil and gas , media and ICT. Notable attendees include Publisher, Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, WIMBIZ Co-Founder and Chair Center Founder/CEO, Ibukun Awosika; Managing Director and Managing Director, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chinyere Almona, and WIMBIZ Co-Founder and Founder, DO.II Designs Ltd Ifeyinwa Ighodalo.

In 2010, UN Women and the UN Global Compact developed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which offer guidance on empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community. These principles have emphasized the business case for business action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and are informed by real business practices and contributions from around the world.

UN Women views the strengths and comparative advantages of the private sector in Nigeria as key to achieving the SDG goals and the targets of its five-year strategic plan (2022-2025). In addition, UN Women’s global work with the private sector provides a model for strengthening engagement with the private sector in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, said, “Many companies are investing in SDG 5 by supporting women’s economic empowerment. To date, multinational companies have collectively invested more than $300 million and launched employment and empowerment programs globally.

“The private sector produces essential goods and services to achieve the SDGs, provide employment opportunities and contribute to the overall development of a country. UN Women needs women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs as allies to build a movement for gender equality and women’s empowerment within the private sector. We also encourage businesses to register for WEPs and build a business network to lead economic recovery, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the co-founder, WIMBIZ Ms. Ibukun Awosika, she pointed out that the non-governmental organization serves as a tool that helps build the diversity of our voices and the courage to challenge things, which is a strength that women bring. at the table. “Women play in silos, we have to change that. UN Women must be a global voice and a local instigator. We have to find a place for all of us to play even in
Politics. “We now have nine female bank CEOs, which is quite remarkable.”

On the recovery from COVID-19 and its impact on women, the UN Secretary-General’s policy brief highlights the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in four areas: finance, health, unpaid care and gender-based violence. Other factors such as fragility, conflict and emergencies where social cohesion is undermined, and institutional capacities and services limited, further amplify the impacts of the pandemic.

These negative economic impacts are mostly felt by women and girls who generally earn and save less and work in precarious jobs or live close to the poverty line.

During the deliberations, a link between the private sector and other groups of women previously left behind, including women with disabilities and women living in rural areas, emerged.

Overall, UN Women’s objective in bringing together female CEOs was to strengthen cooperation with the private sector and, more specifically, to seek alignment between UN Women’s strategic interventions and private sector activities. in priority areas; raise awareness and advocate for the adoption of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), emphasizing the role of the private sector in achieving SDG 5 and driving behavior change for women globally of business by recognizing private organizations as allies for women’s empowerment champions.

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