International Women’s Day

Stock exchanges in South Caucasus ring the bell for gender equality

Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Baku Stock Exchange before ringing bell for gender equality for the first time. Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan. Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan
Baku Stock Exchange before ringing bell for gender equality for the first time. Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan

In partnership with UN Women Georgia, the Baku Stock Exchange and the Armenia Securities Exchange each organized their own separate events to celebrate International Women’s Day by joining more than 100 stock exchanges around the world in the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative. On 9 March 2021, the opening and closing bells in support of women’s economic empowerment and leadership in the finance industry were rang in Yerevan and in Baku bringing attention to the key role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality globally as well as locally.

Ring the Bell for Gender Equality represents a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, UN Women and other partners that aims to encourage the finance sector to support gender equality and the Women’s Empowerment Principles as one of the vehicles for positive change. The year 2021 marks the initiative’s seventh consecutive year since its launch in 2015.

The Baku Stock Exchange joined the initiative for the very first time this year. The event provided the attending organizations and companies with a space to highlight the importance of women’s equal participation in the labour market. Eldar Abdullayev, the acting chairman of the executive board of the Baku Stock Exchange, noted, “It is the first time the Baku Stock Exchange is joining the initiative and the first time we will ring the bell for gender equality in Azerbaijan.”

Armenia Securities Exchange rings the bell to support gender equality for the second time in Armenia. Photo: UNDP Armenia
Armenia Securities Exchange rings the bell to support gender equality for the second time in Armenia. Photo UNDP Armenia

For Armenia, this was the second time the Armenia Securities Exchange rang the bell. The welcome notes were followed by a panel discussion with representatives from banks and investment companies discussing women’s empowerment and leadership, as well as the role of the employers in supporting women in reaching their potential in Armenia. Along with other panelists, Ms. Irina Seylanyan, CEO of HSBC Bank, shared inspiring examples of creating space for women to access and excel in the finance industry. The ringing of the closing bell took place after the panel discussion.

The initiative was implemented as part of UN Women’s regional project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Austrian Development Cooperation, and the Government of Slovakia. Project implementation in Armenia and Azerbaijan is managed by UNDP country offices in these countries.