As part of activities to celebrate the 2018 International Women’s Day, the UN Women has urged 61 stock exchanges across the world, the UN Global Compact, local and international partners, to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.
Ms. Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS has called on everyone, including the private sector to work towards achieving gender equality.
Ms. Lamptey said, “The feminist movement must continue to increase the diversity and the number of people working on gender equality, bringing in individuals, the private sector andgroups—such as men and boys, young people and faith-based organisations—to support and shape the agenda, so young men and boys learn to value and respect women and girls and so men can change the way they behave”.
For the fourth year, a global collaboration across 61 stock exchanges around the world plan to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality,” to mark the 2018 International Women’s Day, marked globally on March 8. The bell ringing celebrations taking place globally, which began from March 5 would end on March 13.
The events are a partnership between IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs, to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.
The UN theme for International Women’s Day this year is, “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives,” focusing on empowering women in all settings, rural and urban, and to celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realise their full potential.
As part of the events, participants are encouraged to make commitments to improve gender equality in their markets, such as signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, improving diversity in senior management and on the boards of directors, developing more gender-friendly policies, developing a gender-themed investment product, or improving transparency on gender policies and practices.
“Today’s activism needs to alter the way we listen to women and the way we look at them, recognising the power of stereotypes to influence how we value people. A movement of women that can address these issues is critical, but we also need a movement of male feminists” said Ms. Lamptey.
Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria said “Gender equality can be a major driver of economic development”. She added “Women’s purchasing power is estimated at $18 trillion, and they have the power to transform the global economy.”
Out of the 61 bell ringing celebrations, IFC is the lead partner on 17 events, UN Global Compact is the lead partner on 13 events, UN Women is the lead partner on three events in Nigeria and Women in ETFs is the lead partner on 18 events.