Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. In all sectors, from businesses to unpaid work at home, women make enormous contributions to the economy.
However, women remain disproportionately affected by poverty, violence and discrimination as well as socio-economic and climate-related shocks and disasters. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disproportionate effects of the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Women have been pushed further into poverty, faced unemployment, faced an increase in gender-based violence and have been participating more in unpaid work at home.
There is an urgent need to refocus policy and programmes to be fully responsive to the rights, priorities of women. Supporting women’s economic empowerment means recognising intersecting inequalities and developing focused responses aimed at achieving transformative change in women’s lives.
Working with a variety of partners, the Joint SDG Fund’s aims to make transformative change in the policy and programmes impacting women. These include innovative concepts that promote women entrepreneurship and access to economic opportunities. From cash-transfer programmes to micro-financing loan opportunities and gender-responsive budgeting, investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment can help eradicate extreme poverty, build vibrant economies, and unlock human potential on a transformational scale.
Allegra Baiocchi, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Costa Rica
Sam Vaghar, Advisor to UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo and Social Entrepreneur for Millenium Campus Network
Moderated by Lisa Kurbiel, Head of Secretariat, Joint SDG Fund