More businesses interested in empowering women

Date: Sunday, June 17, 2018

UN Women alongside its partners launched a series of information and capacity development initiatives aimed at expanding the network of private companies committed to advancing gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Group work: representatives of private companies brainstorm on how to apply WEPs in practice
Group work: representatives of private companies brainstorm on how to apply WEPs in practice; Photo: UN Women

UN Women’s partners - the Civil Development Agency (CiDA) and the Public Defender’s Office - and 29 representatives of private companies spent two days in Borjomi, Georgia discussing the importance of diversity and gender equality in society and in the workplace. Companies gained better understanding and knowledge of key gender concepts and forms of discrimination at work, including during the pre-contractual period.

“The Public Defender’s Office is closely monitoring labour and work-related discrimination, including job advertisements, and is promptly reacting to possible cases of discrimination,” noted Keti Shubashvili, Head of the Equality Department in the Public Defender’s Office. “To minimize risk of discrimination, a continuous dialogue with the private sector is very important to us.”

In June, UN Women also organized a workshop with the Business Leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”, aimed at exploring possible areas of cooperation. The Federation unites female leaders from different business sectors whose common goal is to promote education, provide capacity development and offer mentoring for female entrepreneurs at every level of leadership. The members also advocate for equal opportunities, effective participation and the advancement of female leaders in business, among other initiatives.

Women for Tomorrow representatives discussing joint advocacy initiatives with UN Women
Women for Tomorrow representatives discussing joint advocacy initiatives with UN Women; Photo: UN Women

UN Women and Women for Tomorrow agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business, which UN Women promotes among private companies in Georgia. UN Women and Women for Tomorrow plan to jointly organize public outreach events (such as conferences and forums) in Tbilisi and in the regions of Georgia as well as internationally, advocating for the improvement of women’s access to decent jobs and implementing other activities that will aim at advancing women’s economic empowerment.

“There is a growing interest among businesses in Georgia, especially women-owned or women-led ones, in empowering women,” noted Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia. “This brings multiple benefits for the private sector because empowered women are better employees, clients, consumers and community leaders. If women are empowered, everyone wins.”

The initiatives are part of the UN Women-led project “Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment”, generously supported by the Government of Norway.