Panel Recommends Actions to Accelerate Women’s Economic Empowerment
UN Photo/Marco Dormino
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The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Women’s Economic Empowerment presented its second report to the UN Secretary-General.

The report, titled ‘Leave No One Behind: Taking Action for Transformational Change on Women’s Economic Empowerment,’ recommends practical actions to accelerate progress on the seven drivers identified in the Panel's first report.

16 March 2017: The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Women’s Economic Empowerment presented its second report to the UN Secretary-General, recommending actions to accelerate progress towards the full and equal economic participation of women, and highlight the role of public, private and civil society partnerships in promoting these efforts.

The report, titled ‘Leave No One Behind: Taking Action for Transformational Change on Women’s Economic Empowerment,’ focuses on the transformative, practical actions needed to advance women’s economic empowerment, organized around seven drivers of change identified in the panel’s first report, which was released on 22 September 2016. These drivers are: tackling adverse norms and promoting positive role models; ensuring legal protections and reforming discriminatory laws and regulations; recognizing, reducing and redistributing unpaid work and care; building digital, financial and property assets; changing corporate culture and practice; improving public sector practices in employment and procurement; and strengthening visibility, collective voice and representation.

The report also addresses the importance of a more supportive enabling environment to accelerate efforts, ensure sustainable change and support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report identifies policies and legal reforms that remove structural barriers, ensure adequate social protection, expand access to infrastructure, challenge discriminatory norms, and facilitate the representation of women as critical in ensuring such an enabling environment. The report further highlights the role of promoting gender equality in leaving no one behind, and calls for supporting the most marginalized women at the base of the pyramid in agricultural and informal work.

The HLP plans to launch a group of champions to take the recommendations forward.

HLP Co-Chair Luis Guillermo Solis, President of Costa Rica, said the second report is “another step in building momentum within governments all over the world.” He said the HLP is planning to a launch a group of champions to take the HLP’s recommendations forward.

The report also highlights commitments by individual Panel members and their associated institutions, to advance women’s economic empowerment. IKEA has committed to reaching gender equality in its leadership positions and providing equal opportunities and equal pay by 2020. Care International committed to scale up its Village Savings and Loan Associations to ensure that 30 million women will have increased access and control over their economic resources by 2020. The Government of Finland announced continued support of daycare and early childhood education as a prerequisite for women’s ability to get decent work and their economic and political empowerment. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will support the Group of 20’s (G20) commitment to reduce the gender gap in labor force participation by 25% before 2025, by setting standards on gender equality recommendations in education, employment, entrepreneurship and public life.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the 20-member HLP at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2016 to support and provide guidance on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by improving economic outcomes for women and promoting women’s leadership in driving economic growth. The HLP brings together a diverse group of stakeholders including governments, private sector, trade unions, commercial banks, civil society organizations and multilateral organizations, such as UN Women, ILO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, with support for its work provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The HLP’s two reports will be supplemented by forthcoming toolkits developed for each of the seven drivers of change, which aim to guide implementation of its recommendations. [HLP Press Release] [UN Women Press Release] [Publication: Leave No One Behind: Taking Action for Transformational Change on Women’s Economic Empowerment] [HLP on Women’s Economic Empowerment Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on First Report]

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