Between November 21 and 23, 2016, UNDP organized together with the Government of Panama, the City of Knowledge and with sponsorship from the Government of Chile, COPA Airlines, SUMARSE, OLADE, INAMU and the Panama Canal Authority, the Third Forum on Business for Gender Equality. Gender equality is critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aspires towards a world where "all women and girls enjoy gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been eliminated", as stated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The contribution of the private sector is key to eradicating gender inequalities and leading the way towards sustainable development.
The purpose of this third forum was to discuss the responsibility of the private sector to promote gender equality, in order to promote the work that has been carried out in the last decade in Latin America through the Gender Equality Seal in the Private Sector, with the purpose of extending it to other regions. This is the first Global Forum that hosted participants from outside of the LAC Region.
The call and interest generated is revealed in the total of participants, 350 people from 24 countries, including 12 outside the region of LAC. Among them were representatives of government, private sector and union representatives from the LAC region, but also South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Benin, the African Union, China and Turkey. In total, 160 participants represented senior executives from companies around the world: Doğuş Enterprises of Turkey (employing more than 40,000 people); Petrobras Brazil (largest binational energy company in LAC), COPA, Standard Chartered Bank, Bimbo Group (Mexico, with more than 124,000 employees); CODELCO Chile (the largest copper mining company in the world) PEMEX (Mexican Oil with more than 138,000 employees) and Channel amongst other; and the presence of guest speakers included world leaders in research and services on gender and businesses such as McKinsey, Ernst & Young and Catalyst. It is also notable the presence of the Vice President of the Dominican Republic and eight Ministers from different participating countries.
The three-day agenda covered different topics such as the Gender Equality Seal (GES) as a tool to implement the SDGs, closing the pay gap; how to promote women in non-feminized labour sectors; sexual harassment in the workplace; diversity and inclusion; and promoting women into leadership positions, measurements, public sector use of the GES, work-life balance and gender and corporate social responsibility. The third day ended in three side events on Gender and Energy, the Banking Sector and Gender Equality and Trade Unions.
Throughout the sessions it became clear that by implementing equality policies within their companies, the private sector can ensure equal opportunities for women and men by creating more inclusive and egalitarian workplaces advancing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals related to gender equality (Goal 5), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), and reduction of inequality (Goal 10).
Gender Equality Seals, implemented by national governments with support from UNDP, support public and private organizations to address gender inequalities in the workplace and establish work environments where performance and contribution of women are widely valued.
The importance of these processes is demonstrated by the following figures:
At global level:
• In the world, women earn 24% less than men.
• There are almost 20 million domestic workers in Latin America and the Caribbean (7.2 million in Brazil). The vast majority (83%) are women with insufficient social protection.
• 1 out of 3 women cannot generate their own income.
• 5 out of 10 women are outside the labour market.
• Among 72 large companies in the region, only 3 have a woman as director-general or president, that is 4.2%.
• 54% of women work in informal sector, with fragile incomes and little social protection.
The Global Forum culminated with a range of commitments from the participants to take forward the Private Sector Seal in their companies. Over 24 companies pledged to move ahead by implement the GES in their companies. In addition, the Government of Chile proposed to organize the Fourth Global Forum in January 2018, under the auspices of President Michelle Bachelet and supported by UNDP.
We invite you to see the video message of Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP, within the framework of the opening of the Forum:
All Information: AQUÍ