Have Your Say! Online Consultation for the Youth Forum at CSW61 on Young Women’s Economic Empowerment

The Youth Forum is a critical opportunity for young people in all their diversities to openly and strategically discuss the challenges and opportunities for achieving gender equality and sustainable development in our local, national, regional, and global contexts, and to amplify common concerns and advocacy efforts in advance of CSW61. 

Recognizing that many young people will not be attending the Youth Forum and CSW61 in person, all young people and stakeholders from around the world are invited to participate in this online consultation and provide their input on the key themes of the Youth Forum: Young Women’s Leadership, Young Women’s Economic Empowerment, Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality, and Inter-generational Partnerships. 

Between February and March, young people and stakeholders from across the globe will be invited to contribute to the discussion using the Empower Women’s web platform and respond to prompts related to the four main themes of the Youth CSW61.

We encourage young people aged 18-35 to add their voices! 

Week II

Topic of consultation: Young Women’s Economic Empowerment

Duration: 15 - 21 February 2017

Moderators: Joshua, Mae, Malvika and Richard 



Joshua Kobla Adzakpa - is a Ghanaian,a logistician/statistician by training and a social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Grikob Foundation Ghanawhich, a Global Goal 5 initiative. Email.






Mae Flores - Filipina-American Actress, Speaker, Community Organizer, Social Activist & Advocate for Victims of Gender Violence. EuropeAid’s 200 Women of the World of Development Hall of Fame, Global Ambassador to the Mahendra Singh Foundation. Email






Malvika Iyer - A bilateral amputee from a freak bomb blast in 2002, Malvika Iyer is an Award winning Disability Rights Activist with a Ph.D. in Social Work, International Motivational Speaker, TEDx Speaker, Model for Accessible Fashion and Global Shaper at World Economic Forum. Email






Richard Castillo - co-chair of the Task Force on Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality with the UN IANYD Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality and an ambassador for the Man Up Campaign. Long time advocate on developing equity on Digital space, and specialize in Corporate Social Responsibility. Email.




Questions for discussion:

1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

3. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

4.  How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?


Hashtags used on social media: #YouthCSW61 



  • Azul Meyer Mijares
    1. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

    First of all, I want to congratulate you all for this amazing job. I hope you keep doing this hard but incredible work and together we can reach our goals in this movement to empower women all over the world.

    As a woman in this situation, I can assure you that we need to be heard, as an act that involves the sound of our voice and also the understanding of our words, our ideas and our feelings. It is not only about respect, it is about attention of our perception as women from this century.

    I think institutions need to start working from inside out by applying a program that help women and men to understand why gender equality and women’s economic growth are important to build and sustain a healthy organization that would bring more support to other women, and how this will help us to accomplish our optimal biologic, mental and physical development, that will bring us stability with others and our economic, social, cultural, natural, and political environment. And every idea and choice generated by a group of women and men in communion along this learning, should be public and shared as campaings, policies and initiatives that show a real awearness of the necessities and concerns of women.

    We want to know more about hardworking women that are creating projects that are improving their income supporting themselves and their family, their community and the world.

    We need more groups of women working in different areas of society doing research that updates information to define initiatives that help to strengthen the actual programs that support women.

    Institutions, should be capable to care about the gender situations we are living now. They need to create changes on their regulations, convocations and information about gender equality, based on the knowledge and experiencies of women in different countries, cultures and living situations right now. it is required of them to study other strategies about economic growth in women, already made by other institutions around the world, and combine them with the specific situation of each place.

    There is a need of more communication between institutions from around the world, and their different areas, to create agreements that support women that approach them looking for help. And to help women to become aware of their own vulnerable economic situation.

    It is our goal to make visible changes to uplift women, to generate new opportunities for us to be part of local and global politics and economy based on our situation, and to pronounce this actions out loud through one of the must powerfull tools that we have today as social media.

    We need to use conscious marketing as a tool for showing how important the stability of women’s economy is, and how people in general can support this important change. People all over the world need an example of the good actions that begin been tiny and become an important change as they became known so other people can apply them, reaching other people that does not neccesary need to have virtual interactions. As Nina Simone said “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live”, well, as an artist, student, entrepeneur, activist or whatever path we choose, it is our duty to reflect our effort for better times.
  • Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?

    #YouthCSW61 
    I would start this discussion with the numbers of violence against women in India. According to NCRB data 3,27,394 crimes against women were reported in 2015, including 34,556 rapes and 2113 cases of gang rape. These are just the numbers that are reported the actual numbers are high. 
    I am working currently on this issue for past 6 months and I get to see the women and hear their stories which are horrifying.Majority of sexual violence offenses take place against women marginalized because of their caste or economic status.The intersectionality status of india has doubly allienated women. First considering women weak in the patriarchal discourse and second their caste and class. I will state this one example of a women, hailing from lower caste was gang raped but that was not enough the accused hailed from upper class so he bribed the police officials. The police officials sexually assaulted her and burnt her documnets booked her  in a false case. In result she is socially boycotted ,no support from the familly. Now she is not even called for the daily wage work.
    She is the only one who faces such discrimination, the numbers are very high.

    What I feel after the justice verma comittee there are still a lot of things that they should look into. For example it is important that the police officials are obligated by the law to do their duty such as taking the survivor for  her mediacl examinatin. Mostly it is not done as the law has not been clear in obligating. Lack of shelter homes, Lack of one stop crisis center. the funds have been allocated but only Five one stop crisis center has started functioning.  In the judiciary the survivor should have an equal representation, they are only seen as a witness. the right to address the court  is not given to them. the court has a defense approach in terms of thinking what is the punishent that should be given to the accused. But  the survivors are not heard after this , that what are the necessary things that she would be needing now. For example only one poblic prosecutor is appointed in each districts in India. The one public prosector receives on an average 500- 1000 cases a month. It is impossible to consider that the one public prosecutor will be able to manage the all these case with justice. Theses are the few points  that i feel is problematic and should be addressed so that atleast justice should be provided to her to gain the confidence. Social boycotting leads to no jobs at the same time, and economic empowerment i fell will be possible with the social empowerment as well. 
  • Hannah Wandel
    Love the questions and the consultation! Congrats team. 

    In terms of Q1: we need overarching progress in private, public and individual spheres. Governemnt has a strong role in continuously fostering and creating legislation and policies that promote equality, with strict incentives and measures to ensure improvement. Political role models in this space is also key! We also need to ensure culture change in institutions - incentives in companies to walk the walk (rather than just talk the talk) and stong communications about how diversity is good for growth, profit and success. Accountability is super important too, and initatives like WGEA (Workplace Gender Equality Agency) in Australia are there to meausre success and provide a continuous reminder for companies about their progress. Lastly, when we run leadership programs for girls, young women and women, I believe it's important to continue to remind people of their self-worth, their ability to negotiate wages/salaries, the importance of retirement savings/financial literacy, and, if they're in a low SES area or are faced with difficult barriers/poverty, that civil, private and public institutions have easy-to-access tools and support programs to ensure no one is left behind. 
  • Mengdi Wu

    Q1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

    A1: By becoming leaders of each industry, that's how your voice will be heard, by becoming #1 of your industry, by becoming the president, by becoming the CEO, by becoming Olympic champions. We all unite to help one another to succeed. I specifically talked about the issue in my United Nations speech on topic of Young Women’s Economic Empowerment, watch the my whole UN speech here->: https://youtu.be/lEtjINJ_EOo


    Q5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

    A5: By treating everybody equally, no matter what their gender. Have respect for one another. Be nice, be kind, be polite, and be thankful. Treat others how yourself want to be treated. Men can speak up and take part of gender equality movement implementing the SDGs: Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality. 
  • 5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?


    • Men can be involved in championing Gender Equality Programs.
    • At the work place men need to respect the views and opinions of women.
      Both men and women need to take decisions in the work plan with no form of discrimination.
    • Again opportunities and promotions should be awarded by merit and not by gender based.
      Discriminatory statements or sign post like 'Men at Work' in construction and Engineering firms should be changed to 'Working Area' or anything better.
    • Both men and women should be given the correct salaries based on their competence and not by their gender.
      The productivity of work done should not be judged by muscles but rather the  acurate solution and prompt delivery.








  • 2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

    Yes discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier because usually women and girls give up their dreams and aspirations because they don't want to be ridiculed but rather conform to society.
    Eg. In some African countries women are seen to be only help mates of men.That is to only cook and take care of the family.Education isn't a priority because even after your education you will be controlled by a man and still up to give up alot to solely do what pleases the man.
    Sometimes giving birth to only females is being ridiculed.Others don't see the need for a woman to even own properties due to the lineage of inheritance.
    Government can enforce education on every just like the current President of Ghana want to have a free and quality education for all.
    Also women who have succeeded in life can take it upon themselves to mentor these young girls to climb higher and achieve more.
    Families or parents who prevent their girl child to attend school or a vocation need to be fined and punished.
    Entrepreneurial skills ,Managerial and Leadership skills need to be taught in schools to encourage youth girls that they succeed and in be great leaders.
    Also once you infringe on the right of a woman you need to be punished.
    Nobody need to be ridiculed , harassment or prevented of some opportunities just because she is a woman and this education can start from our homes.

    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      Dear Dufie, thanks for your inputs. 
      It is a fact gender discrimination and stereotypes against girls and women in some parts in Ghana only leave them the only option to accept these ill-acts because they don't want to be subjected to any public ridicule with a perceived superiority of men in the society. Like you mentioned, if laws are enacted and make enforceable to deal with gender discrimination and stereotypes in Ghana, the situation would be improved to the greatest extent. Thanks for you time and inputs once again
    1 of 1 Replies
  • 1.What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

    I think women and girls need to remain focused and keep saying that they can equally work hard and be employed in any field if their lives or better still own jobs and properties.
    There should be more sensitization from the local communities, society,countries and globally.
    Stakeholders ,Civil Society Organization, Government bodies and in fact everyone need can come together to pass Affirmative Action Bail on Gender Equality in most counties if not all.
    This will give women and girls the confidence to strive higher and acquire more in life.Usually when one woman or girl is empowered it transcends to generations to come because she will equally empower both male and female.
    The traditional leaders and men need to be involved in this transition.To educate them well enough that once you empower a  single woman means you have empowered lots of people inclusive.And that gender equality doesn't mean women to disrespect men and vice versa. 
    It is very realistic to reach economic parity gradually in 2030 because a lot of education and sensitization is ongoing.
    Government for example can insist that some reasonable percentage of women are involved in the parliamentary level to help make decisions.
    Again woman are naturally created to help boost the economy.Give a woman a small amount of money and she doubles it through various vocations and trade. In order for any organizations and businesses to strive better women need to be involved.
    So all stakeholders must make it a point not to leave any girl or woman out.Every girl child needs to be educated or learn a vocation of her choice.
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      It's really true we need concerted efforts from all stakeholders in our communities to join the crusade of attaining gender parity to the greatest extent in 2030. I strongly support the Affirmative Action Bill must be introduced in countries to guard against gender discrimination. Womem must rise up to the ocassion it's time to possess what is due them with all resoluteness as they might face some impediment. Men can equally join in the agenda to make a good case for gender parity. Thank you. 
    1 of 1 Replies
    • 4. How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women's entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?


    I think there must be motivation, that is to say that girls are told the stories of success of powerful women more than anything to motivate. Also that to the girls since they are in the first grades of study they are given the same opportunities that the children to exercise their abilities some will have the capacity of leadership more than others but what if it is important is that they are given the opportunity of Develop leadership skills at 100%.

    In the educational system clear that there should be changes, for example, to give more funding to educational institutions to focus on programs to support the development of innovations made by girls, it is also good to mention that in the educational system Must improve the quality of education with a focus on gender and interculturality, expand educational opportunities for rural and indigenous women so that they can develop their talents and gradually end the stereotypes that only a man can be a leader.
  • 2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

    Yes it is a huge barrier.

    Women in India are treated as "weaker" sex, as a result they are usually considered devoid of ability to manage finances, take tough decisions, plan for their life,be a leader , bad drivers(even though we have more men than women drivers and there are more accidents with male drivers ) ,Good girls wear indian clothes and dont wear makeup and the bad girls wear western dresses, drink,smoke ,wear makeup and are as a result promiscuious and sluttish. 

    Even in Schools we are taught to be "Good decent girls" . Our teachers would scold and humiliate any girl who thought differently. The premise of most of our teaching was that most girls will grow up, graduate and marry.  Education qualification is a big basis of selection in arranged marriage in urban india and also add a list of requirements like "traditional, family oriented,indian values etc". Strong, confident,independent and working women are not desirable.

    Stereotyping women as objects or commodities is restrictive and cause for gender based violence. When women break traditional norms (like staying out after dark) the patriarchal mindset believes that they are asking for rape and violence. This is normalising the crime and placing the blame entirely on one gender ,absolving the other based on a thought process.


    Equal representation of women (our parliament has many misogynistic examples) ,better education system which shows women empowerment ad better role models,laws which are condusive (like accepting marital rape as part of Domestic violence ) , Educating the girl child initiatives which are largely a failure as they do not reach all and they do not train girls to get employment in the booming Indian corporate.Also educate the girl child is a scheme only for until 14 years of age. We know that based on that no girl will be hired by these MNCs or even the Indian firms. We have to have a Skill Women and girls initiative



    http://www.ndtv.com/chennai-news/rapist-victim-should-get-together-tamil-nadu-womens-panel-chiefs-shocker-775338 

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/STATOISTICS-In-India-driving-an-automobile-is-largely-a-male-activity/articleshow/40154772.cms
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/love-sex/What-Indian-men-want-in-a-wife/articlesh
    ow/32672197.cms
    http://www.bollywoodshaadis.com/articles/revealing-why-modern-indian-men-still-want-a-virgin-wife-3359
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/love-sex/Why-good-Indian-girls-are-not-bad/articleshow/10473217.cms
    https://www.popxo.com/2014/09/are-you-a-good-indian-girl/
    • shruti kapoor
      Thank you for highlighting how gender stereotypes act as barriers for girl's economic empowerment. As you rightly pointed out, it's at every step, starting at home, schools, and workplace. Greater representation of women in politics might be a good step in changing the narrative and the policies related to women!
    1 of 1 Replies
  • A2  Women Economic Forum itself defines that gender discrimination cannot bring women or our daughters to a halt .The discrimination is more of it seen in India than in other countries .Male chauvinism has been always given the perfect profile n since ages and is rooted till date in our interiors .Be it Rapes molestation stalking or the women at home as wives n daughters face the race and fury .The govt. Can n should adress if with reaching them .Now after decades women forums are made and voices being raised .Feminism.is a way of defining yes I'm a woman n the one to being men in world so respect ...equality has to be roped in .High time ..People crowds government cannot discriminate .If we have Kalpana chawal we have Malvika n women like Shruti Kapoor so let's talk sense and see their talent they are girls who have made us the nation proud Indira Gandhi to many have made Our nation ..

    Jai Hind 
    • shruti kapoor
      Thanks for sharing your insights Deepti and for the words of encouragement & support!
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Deepti,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I understand the frustration of most women in India fighting for an equal and just society amidst male chauvinism. Yes, our voices are being heard now and we are all in this together. 

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer. 
    2 of 2 Replies
  • shruti kapoor
    2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

    Yes, they do! Stereotyping at work restrict women to certain types of roles and duties which in turn slows growth and hence economic empowerment. Lack of safe public transportations, safe work environment, skewed gender ratios, inadequate maternity leave all hinder girls and women from participating actively in the labor market. The government must ensure equal pay for equal work, have equal representation of women and girls in policy making and government. They can encourage schemes and incentives to increase and encourage greater women in the workplace. 

    4.  How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?
    By sharing positive success stories of women in leadership roles. By encouraging our girls to take up leadership positions from a young age. At the educational level, provide more scholarships for girls in STEM subjects, address the skewed gender ratio by encouraging girls to enroll in STEM subjects. Make learning fun for all. Don't perpetuate gender stereotypes by using age-old examples of boys become doctors and engineers and girls secretaries. Change the curriculum to include concrete examples of women in STEM. 

    5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?
    If you see something, say something. Attend gender sensitization training, respect colleagues at work. Have zero tolerance for harassment and violence at work. Take a strong stance against it and raise awareness for the same. Don't be casual about the way you speak about women and girls. Raise your voice for unequal pay based on gender. 
  • Kirthi Jayakumar

    2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

    Absolutely. It is the fundamental reason why there are barriers to economic empowerment. Barriers in the form of access to employment, unequal pay for equal work, not allowing promotions, not allowing women to take up certain jobs, establishments that are not gender sensitised and exclusionary are major impediments. For instance,  the lack of menstrual supplies, clean toilets and safe spaces to work at can be major deterrents to the equal participation of women in the work force. 

    • shruti kapoor
      Absolutely. You share a great example of how the lack of basic menstrual supplies, clean toilets, and safe spaces can act as major deterrents to great participation by girls and women in the workplace. 
    • Richard Castillo
      Kirthi, Thank you for taking the time in participating in our online consultation on young women's economic empowerment. I agree with your response 100 percent. Let us not forget about the lack of public transportation for women to get to work and home. Are another form of barriers for women to become independent or even be able to provide for their families. The more we are able to address these problems and find solutions the more we will see those barriers slowly fade away.
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Kirthi Jayakumar

    1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

    Genuinely, there is a desperate need to make inclusive educational programming and eemployment systems. Equal pay for equal work, access to promotions and routes to breaking the glass ceiling institutionally are vital. It is a realistic goal, provided that there is concerted and collaborative effort on part of all the units - NGOs, Civil Society and Individuals are concerned. There is also a pressing need to curate systems and training programmes that incorporate the role of women and their contributions. 

    • Kirthi Jayakumar
      What I meant was for a seamless integration of a variety of skill sets and work areas to create comprehensive results. There should be a cohesive approach that combines the best of economic, skill-based and action-oriented tools.
    • Richard Castillo
      To just build more on to you something you had mentioned in your response. You had mentioned in your response about NGOs, Civil Society, and Individuals in what aspect should they be collaborating with the community? Or are we asking community lead organizations into creating training programs that can easily transition to the corporate sector to create inclusive opportunity roles for women?
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Rachel Clewley
    1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

     

    The Sustainable Development Goals, alongside other policy guidance, such ‘Leaving No One Behind’ and CEDAW http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw.htm are a good starting point for achieving gender equality by 2030. However, governments, businesses, NGO’s, civil society and individuals must be seriously committed to work within these frameworks and most importantly, these documents must be interpreted properly and taken seriously.

     

    We do not believe that prostitution is in the spirit of these policy guidelines, and we absolutely to not believe that gender equality can be achieved while prostitution exists. Prostitution not only perpetuates gender inequality, because most prostituted people are from marginalized and vulnerable groups, and mainly women, but also in grains and deepens inequalities. Prostitution intersects with other inequalities, and deepens exclusion and inequalities towards women with disabilities, racial inequalities and LGBT people.

     

    1. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

     

    We do not accept that women’s economic empowerment can be achieved while prostitution exists and we do not think that prostitution is an answer to women’s poverty. We do not accept that prostitution is a way to economic empowerment once the stigma is removed, as some groups are suggesting and that decriminalization of all aspects of ‘sex work’ will advance women’s economic empowerment. Stigma is inherent to the very nature of position. Despite some progress in recent years in attitudes to mental health, or domestic violence for example, stigma still exists. Attitudes and stigma also vary according to culture, norms and values.

    Prostitution causes severe emotional and physical harm, so that women cannot achieve their potential. ‘Sex work’ is particularly responsible towards creating gender stereotypes which act as a barrier to women achieving their potential.   Sex buyers are also found to commit more sexual violence. http://prostitutionresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Comparing-Sex-Buyers-With-Men-Who-Do-Not-Buy-Sex.pdf Objectifying women creates a hostile environment for all women and girls.

     

    We would also like to raise a point regarding the normalization of ‘sex work’. In October 2016, UN Women held a global consultation on ‘sex work’ and the sex industry, inviting submissions from all women’s groups, agencies and organizations, including survivors of prostitution and women’s right’s organizations.

    Since then, the ‘Global Network of Sex Work Projects’ (NWSP), based in Edinburgh, UK, who claim to represent ‘Sex worker’s rights organizations from all over the globe’ have launched a petition. http://www.nswp.org/.../un-women-petition-meaningfully.... Firstly, we would like to reiterate the point that while the NSWP repeatedly state that ‘sex work’ is a legitimate economic activity and should not be ‘conflated’ with trafficking, Alejandra Gil, Vice President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NWSP) has been jailed for 15 years for sex trafficking. NSWP make no secret of the fact that they include third party profiteers such as pimps as rights holders and include them in their definition of ‘sex workers’. The broad term ‘sex work’ obscures the brutal reality of prostitution. One of the concerns in the above petition was that ‘sex workers’ and organizations in the global south may not be able to take part in the consultation. It seems rather ironic, then that NWSP have since published a note criticizing the work of a women’s right’s NGO based in India and their conference about sexual exploitation. http://www.nswp.org/.../national-network-sex-workers... We also note an attempt to conflate child sexual exploitation with ‘sex work’, referring to children as young as 10. This is abhorrent and completely unacceptable. http://www.nswp.org/.../Policy%20Brief%20Young%20Sex... We do not accept that ‘sex work’ meets the criteria for ‘decent work’ under the SDG 8 for women (8.5) and safe and secure working environments for all with particular attention to women migrants (8.8). We absolutely believe that normalizing prostitution leads to discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment.

     

     

    1. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

     

    This is a complex question. There might be many routes to economic empowerment, including grassroots initiatives and community organizations may have a role to play. Institutions should be aware of structural oppressions and intersectional factors, where gender may intersect with ethnicity, disability, class, caste and age. Institutions should be anti-oppressive and open to women’s groups and organizing.

     

    1. How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

     

    There were some fantastic responses given in the previous leadership consultation. The main point should be that women should not be held back by gender stereotypes and women and girls should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Inclusion should become the norm. Again, this approach should be intersectional. Gender often intersects with ethnicity, class, caste, age and disability and often women and girls do not achieve their full potential. Stereotyping due to gender roles is a key issue here.

     

    1. What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace

     

    There should be strong laws to protect people against harassment and discrimination in the workplace and clear policy guidance. Women in particular are more likely to experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Young women may be particularly vulnerable to this. This can act as a significant barrier to economic empowerment. Men can play a part in addressing this issue by promoting a culture of respect in the workplace.

    We reiterate that gender equality cannot be achieved while prostitution exists. Prostitution perpetuates harmful stereotypes and leads to harassment being even more prevalent. We need to be absolutely clear that prostitution is gender violence and not a route to women’s economic empowerment.

     

     

  • Uzoma Katchy
    Q5 Advocate for women inclusion in  decision making bodies,  create safe environment devoid of female harassment,  advocate for same incentives to qualified female counterparts,  encourage women inclusion in  available opportunities,  become advocates of women empowerment.
    • Uzoma Katchy
      Thank you Richard.
    • Richard Castillo
      Uzoma, Thank you for your response and I agree with some of the points you have made. I personally believe it needs to begin at home, by not only challenging the mindset of gender stereotypes but empower our daughters and nieces to feel as though they are person with agency.With that being said, I grew up in a household that provided my sisters and cousins to take part in the decision-making and the opportunity. Encourage to set their mind on goals of what they believe their self-truths, to pursue their dreams of being successful women in the corporate world and in the medical industry. 
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Uzoma Katchy
    Q4 l am passionate  about Education.  In Nigeria, the education system  needs an overhaul.  I think that the Curriculum  should be changed  and new , better approaches implemented.
    Education is KEY here, since every change starts with good quality information. 
    Capaciy Building of teachers in 21st Century Skills and  integrating these Skills into the Curriculum  will be of great help. 
    Equally availability  of  educational tools and equipment in STEM related subjects .can help
    STEM  promotion and Mentoring by women in STEM related fields is also important.
    As a UN Champion for Change , 2016-2017, l have the opportunity to work with over a thousand students in Capacity Building project.It is worrisome  that appropriate  learning tools , STEM awareness is Lacking.
    Enlightenment, Information, Capacity Building and appropriate tools are needed.
    Exposing women to available opportunities  and helping them build requisite skill can be of immense help.
    • Uzoma Katchy
      Thank you , Malvika
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Uzoma,

      I absolutely agree with you. It is essential for women students to develop higher order capabilities. To achieve this we must ensure appropriate technology, leadership, professional development on the part of our education system especially in developing countries. Awareness is key which can help in exposing women to available opportunities. 

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer.
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Uzoma Katchy
    Q3 capacity building in Financial and Digital Literacy but specifically tailored  for different segments.
    Without proper education in these areas,  women may find it difficult  to be economically empowered.
    Role Modelling and Mentoring by fellow women  can be of immense help.
    Internship programmes can be promoted and used as a driver for sustainable economic empowerment initiatives.
    More female representation  in  decision making bodies will be of immense help since these women will promote female inclusion. 
    More women in politics and influential leadership positions can also be of great help. 
  • Uzoma Katchy
    Q2. Cultural and traditional beliefs have greatly  hindered women economic  empowerment.  In the Northern Region of Nigeria, there are restrictions on interactions  placed on women in  relating  with the larger society. How can these group of women be reached.
    Equally, there are some that  have been denied access  to education , a savings bank acount and not allowed to engage in any form of business activity . Empowerment for such women seems elusive.
    These barriers can be removed by traditional leaders who unfortunately  are the beneficiaries.  This is an arduous task, because it makes it near impossible to have access to these women.
  • Uzoma Katchy
    Q1 Good quality education for women and girls.  This is the fulcrum on which  everything else revolves.
    • Uzoma Katchy
      Thank you, Malvika
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Uzoma,

      Absolutely. Numerous studies suggest that lack of education decreases family income by limiting prospects for women, reduces health, puts women and young girls at risk of trafficking and exploitation, and limits the economic advancement of the communities. 

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer. 
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Cecilia Cavero Sánchez

    1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

    I believe goals such as that one are necessary, but not necessarily realistic. Economic parity throughout the world will most certainly not be achieved by 2030, although much can be done until then.
    I think there are many policies that the government, businessess, NGOs, civil society and individuals should implement in order to achieve this. First, equal pay for equal work all over the globe is a most. Furthermore, women are underrepresented in the highest-paying jobs from societies (e.g. CEOs), so some positive discrimination measures should be imposed and so should measures against discrimination by gender, sexual harassment, bullying and other forms of gender discrimination. These should be properly implemented and punished if broken. Moreover, women from the poorest and excluded strata of society should be given an affordable education and incentives to continue their careers, such as same motherhood and parenthood conditions in work and no loss of the job (or big reduction in its pay) when becoming pregnant. Lastly, economic empowerment goes in hand with social awareness about this issue, which should also be raised.

    2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?  

    I believe social norms and gender stereotypes can be a huge barrier for girls and women in economic empowerment. Women are seen as weak, whiny and uncapable of pursuing their goals for many many years, and this leads us to believe (unconsciously in many cases) that there are some fields where we will not succeed. I see this many times with children: "You cannot play football because you are a girl", "boys don't cry, that is girly". Being like a girl is used as an insult. This, when growing up, leads to an underrepresentation of women in the better paying jobs and university degrees (not only in CEO positions, but also in Science degrees). This should be addressed, especially by governments, through awareness campaigns and positive discrimination.

    3. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

    Governments should acknowledge the role of women in the society and study in which areas women are not present or well underrepresented and why. Then, they should respond educational and awareness methods in order to promote women in those fields.

    4.  How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

    I think that governmental role is key to change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles, together with businessess. Anti-discrimination and anti-harassment rules should be heavily enforced so women feel safe in their work environments. The education system needs to focus on eliminating gender stereotypes that place women under men when it comes to STEM subjects, and promote their parity and dream jobs regardless of gender. Anti-discriminatory rules among both teachers and students have to be enforced as well.

    5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

    Men should try to understand how women feel in discriminatory environments. Obviously, they will never fully understand, but if they are explained the issue and talk to women about how they feel and listen to them, they can then spread the awareness they have gained among other men and tell them about the situations where women are harassed and discriminated. Also, they should stop any situation of the kind they see and report it to the person responsible of the issue. 

    • Molly Pacheco
      Dear Cecilia, 

      Positive reforms within the education system, that promote and encourage equal treatment of young boys and girls are essential. I like how you talk about an open dialogue in the work place. As many work place disputes come from lack of communication, it is important to give individuals a safe space to talk. I believe that this safe space and safe dialogue should be cultivated at an early age. Young boys and girls should be encouraged to engage with one another in school, sports and other extra curricular activities, so that they can see that the gender construct does not create differences between women and men. In this way young boys and girls can learn to support and encourage one another later on in life.

      Best regards,

      Molly Pacheco
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Sharda Vishwanathan
    1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society, and individuals implement to get there?

    Close the gender gap: Be it with regard to attaining an education or access to equal economic opportunities, the gender gap is all-pervasive and largely impacts women's economic empowerment. It thus becomes important to address this and close the gender gap. So here are ways in which one can work towards addressing this issue:

    Equal access to education: Create opportunities where girls have equal access to quality education. In the process, it becomes important to make schools safer and affordable. Further, having a more balanced curriculum is also key. Thus, creating an all-inclusive learning space where one breaks the stereotype by encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM and other fields would go a long way in empowering women and helping them reach economic parity.

    Creating equal opportunities at workplace: Equal access to economic opportunities continue to be one of the major roadblocks faced by women, thus restricting their complete participation in the workforce. This can be done by:
    Creating equal opportunities for advancement and creating safe work environments that are free of sexual harassment, bullying and other forms of abuse. Ensure that every company/ organization has a robust workplace sexual harassment reporting model. 
    Closing the gender pay gap by introducing policies that promote equal pay for equal work
    Provide affordable and quality child-care facilities for working women
    Have policies that encourage men to assume equal responsibilities when it comes to child-care

    Financial literacy and digital literacy: Most often decisions around finance and money is considered to be a male bastion with men taking control over and making financial decisions. Creating awareness and equipping women with the knowledge required to take sound financial decisions becomes important. Financial decision thus becomes key in achieving this. Further, it is important that governments also put in place the financial infrastructure that helps women access the financial services such as banking, insurance other instruments that would eventually translate their knowledge into tangible actions and prevents them from being vulnerable to various economic shocks. There are several civil society organizations that work in this area. The government should collaborate with these organizations and understand the gaps and work towards implementing interventions to address the same. 

    Encourage women-owned businesses and social enterprises: A great case study would be the several organizations in Southeast Asia especially in Singapore and Hong kong that work with migrant workers and train them in financial management. Many women migrate to these countries in search of financial security and thus, remittances form a huge part of their financial decisions. Over the years they find themselves with no savings as they often end up remitting all their earnings back home to meet the expenses of their families. While the financial literacy programs instill in them the habit of savings which in turn becomes the starting point in creating women-owned businesses. The Village Savings and Loans Associations program launched by CARE also points out to the fact that financial literacy helps women to save and avail microfinance that helps them start small businesses. Thus, having policies that encourage women-owned social enterprises while parallelly providing them the required support and knowledge through various entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs that can help close the gender gap and take women closer to achieving economic parity. 


    • Molly Pacheco
      Dear Sharda,

      Thank you for your participation in the discussion! You touched on some great points. To close the gender gap in the work place we must start with closing the gender gaps in education. As you mentioned we can do this by providing an all inclusive learning space. Thank you for including such important information about digital and financial literacy as well. Being financially literate empowers small/local/starting businesses, and being digitally literate connects entreprenuers to the resources that they might need to prosper. 

      Best regards,

      Molly Pacheco
    1 of 1 Replies
  • It’s realistic, I hope. Today we need to talk with young people, with teenager. I’m a teenager (16yo) and in my country, in school, women are underrepresented. We form the mind of tomorrow, it’s imperative to show that women are there too, not only boys. We need to make conferences, campaign. I think NGOs, should talk in school. It’s really important. I hope it’s a good idea.:)
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Coralie,

      That is a wonderful idea indeed. Thank you for sharing. Underrepresentation of women in key positions is indeed an issue highlighted often times and we as a community must work on it. And you are absolutely correct about framing ideas at an early age. Young minds should be taught about gender equality as they are our future leaders who will shape and implement policies concerning women. 

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer. 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Anna Zobnina
    I am making this comment on behalf of the European Network of Migrant Women (ENOMW) - www.migrantwomennetwork.org. We are a migrant women led European platform, with many young women from various parts of the world working on improvements of rights, economic position and civic participation of migrant women and girls. 

    It is highly disconserting that this thread features responses calling for legalisation of prostitution, and some of the contributors call men's access to sexual satisfaction through the bodies of prostituted women, girls and men, a"public good" and "necessity". Abuse and violence that persons in prostitution experience from the hands of men who buy them is NOT a necessity and it is no one's good. It is a violation of human rights; sexual, psychological and economic violence, and a result of patriarchy - unequal distribution of economic resources between women and men and traditional gender roles that prescribe sexual privilege to men at birth. In the countries where prostitution is legalised women in prostitution get murdered, raped, molested, born into brothels, have no choice over their sexual lives and bodies and experience severe psychological trauma that lasts their entire lives.

    Prostitution does not need to be made better so that more more men can satisfy their so-called "necessity". Prostitution needs to stop. It is not an "oldest profession" it is an oldest abuse. The only way to do it is to provide to women and girls who are driven to prostition by poverty and violence, access to material resources and education, and to punish men who believe that their sexual desires are worth more than women's rights to self determination. This means men who buy sex have to be recognised as criminals. This is what many countries in the world already did: France, Sweden and Ireland among them. They did not legalise prostituion; they adopted a law that protects women from being exploited and sends a message to every man who uses the terms "mammalian necessity" that what he means by this is, in fact, a criminal act. Men are not dogs. They can cope with their sexual needs. Women are not dolls. They have better things to do in life - politics, STEM and business.

    Prostituion is NEVER ok. It is an act in which one person wants to have sex and the other person does not, which is why the client pays for it. It is a gross disrespect to women's sexual autonomy and way to keep women in subordinate position in this world, both sexually and economically. It is deeply saddening that someone could promote prostitution as a "job" instead of calling it what it is, a form of male violence and entitlement.

    please consult our detailed repsonse to UN WOMEN on the subject economic empowerment of women and prostitution here: http://www.migrantwomennetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENoMW_UN-WOMEN-Consultation-Prostitution.pdf
  • Upasana Chauhan
    4.  How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

    The perception can be changed with the Real life examples. When girls would see that their Next door girl is a Women's Leader and is choosing unconventional streams like STEM. Then, the ripple effect will be at the grassroots level and much more multiplied. We need to start with what we have and where we are. Encourage your friend, sister, neighbors to choose STEM Fields. I am a STEM Girl myself but when I decided to choose Science, everybody raised fingers at me. My relatives would say she is a girl and we just have to get her basic education to get a good marriage alliance, so she she should study Arts. On top of it, some of my elder brothers who choose Science Failed, so they were like if they couldn't do it , you can never do it. I not only excelled in my Graduation but have been working with Fortune 500 Companies and multinational Banks since then. This is how we get into the system to change the system. Each one of us. To encourage the involvement of Girls in STEM Subjects we should have more awareness camapaigns not only with the students but also with the parents. We need to encourage the parents to send their daughters to STEM Fields because the root cause in most cases are not being aware about the opportunities. Schools should have an annual meeting with parents and their girls to discuss about their future growth openly.

    5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

    The most important role Men can play is stop discriminating between both Genders. Beginning from the interview to assignment of projects and roles. It's been proven with stats that when the Gender is not revealed the companies have equal employement opportunities. Whereas if the gender is revealed, they give preferrence to Male. This needs to be removed and may be the question "What is your Gender?" whould be completely removed from all the forms in order to not to judge them by their gender. Logically, Gender have nothing to do with the knowledge of the resource. Additionally, the companies should have more policies to support maternal paid leaves so that women should not be forced to leave their jobs. This is a major loss to the economy of any country or company. We loose very important and capable employees because they dont get the right environment.
    • Jason Tan de Bibiana
      Yes! Great point Upasana. Blind hiring and other practices that do not reveal the gender (or other characteristics of individuals) really make a big difference - I was shocked when I first saw some of the studies. It goes to show how deeply entrenched some of our biases are. At the same time, we definitely have to address the root causes and continue to push to change the social norms, attitudes, and beliefs that contribute to these biases and inequalities. 
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Upasana,

      I absolutely agree with you. The elimination of gender inequality at workplace and supporting maternity leaves is crucial for economic empowerment of women and girls. It is important to incorporate men into the theoretical framework. A study in the Harvard University suggests that, "The problem arises when young adults try to balance work and family, and women end up carrying nearly all of the caregiving responsibilities. If women put many more hours into these household activities than men, this greatly disadvantages women in the workplace. It is unrealistic to expect gender equality if workplaces demand that women be available all the time."

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer. 
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Luz Maria Utrera
    Thank you so much Joshua! The Framework should be The Agenda 2030 and The Sustainable Development Goals! Keep up the great work! 

    Blessings!
  • Trisha Shetty
    1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?
    - Address violence within homes, on the streets and at the workplace through course of laws, setting up redressal agencies, identofying barriers in access to laws and redressal agencies and setting uo mchanisms to mitigate the barriers.
    - Identify localised social-economic factors that lead to women and girls dropping out of schools and ideate on localised stregties to address the same.
    - Invest in capacity building and skill development tailored to regions to equip grils and women to be financialy solvent.
    - Identifying discrimatory laws and pay practices that adverselty affect a woman's economic empowerment. 
    - Invest in connectivity and menotrship models for women and children.
    - Invest in digital literacy for women (studies state that women entrepreneurs do better than men when crowdfunding)
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Trisha, 

      These are some excellent suggestions to work towards economic empowerment of women and girls. 

      Addresing violence at home is of utmost importance. Most rural women I interacted with during a field visit in India had little or no knowledge about their rights and privileges. Seeking support wrt laws is also an issue. How would you propose to bridge this gap? How could we as activists help in eliminating these barriers to access laws and support during a crisis? 

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer. 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Luz Maria Utrera
    5. What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

    Men can and should play a big role on this. They must be allies on this cause, especially because it carries even more weight (unfortunately) when men speak out about gendered discrimination in every aspect of our society. When men talk about this issue, they are listened, especially by their peers.Speaking out is the first and best step men can take to stop this problem.

    Men can engage their leadership in breaking the "glass ceiling" for women in the workplace. Male executives can also help institute workplace policies that uses merit to award wages and promotions instead of an individual's gender. Additionally, male executives can help to recognize the capabilities of women in the workplace and offer them equal opportunities to not only advance themselves but to also hone and develop these capabilities if necessary.
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      Dear Maria, thanks so much for these wonderful submissions. You have really reechoed the need for men to join in this crusade which is aimed at providing equal platform for women to be empowered in all aspects of our daily lives. These wonderful inputs have been noted down.Thanks once again.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Luz Maria Utrera
    4. How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

    By showing their accomplishments and success when they are given the opportunity to lead and create change. There's nothing more powerful than a good example.

    According to Lakshmi Puri, UN Women Deputy Executive Director, “Encouraging entrepreneurship is one of the most impactful steps we can take in addressing some of the disparities we see today, empowering young women to become not only wage-earners but also job-creators is imperative for achieving the 2030 Agenda and for eradicating poverty”.

    A change in narrative and perception requires a multi-faceted approach involving engagement of families, schools and other social institutions that help form a society's values and attitudes. These types of engagement should raise awareness about the importance of gender parity in leadership roles to not only the welfare of women but also the overall sustainable development of a nation. Implementing various policies supporting women access to STEM education and professional pathways as well as implementing innovative measures for combating continuing challenges in STEM education is one way to transform the education system and promote young women's entrepreneurship and innovation.
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      Very impressive and points well articulated, with a lovely quote by Lakshmi Puri. It's a known fact that helping women to harness their entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills would help bridge the gender gap and also help eradicate poverty, thus bringing about good jobs and economic growth. Thanks for your immeasurable contribution.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Luz Maria Utrera
    3. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

    Social institutions such as the family, schools, churches and work places can provide the institutional framework and support for implementing and supporting policies and behavior change programs and initiatives. Workplaces can be engaged to encourage their leadership in "breaking the glass ceiling" for women. Political institutions need to also be engaged so more women can participate in political leadership and bring about policy changes that encourage diversity and sensitivity to the rights and welfare of women. There is no other way for real change to succeed. 
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      We really need institutional frameworks to help women grow and be empowered. Can you succinctly suggest any framework you think would help achieve this purpose?
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Luz Maria Utrera
    2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this? 
      

    Absolutely, time and time again we see how both these topics stop girls' and women's economic empowerment. This starts very early on in their education when the stereotype that says boys are better at math than girls.When girls are discouraged to participate from science subjects early in their education, they are stopping themselves from future possibilities in their career lives.

    Gender inequality is perpetuated by discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes which, in turn, act as a barrier to girls' and women's economic empowerment. This is largely due to the fact that these social norms and gender stereotypes influence attitudes and perceptions towards the needs and welfare of women and girls at home, in schools, at the workplace etc.

    In some countries for example, schoolgirls that become pregnant are not allowed to continue their education for fear that they would become a bad influence to other pupils. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty since young mothers lack education to be able to find well-paying jobs. 

    Furthermore, gender pay gap is mostly fueled by discrimination against women, especially when they take a break in their career to raise children. These stereotypes also prevent women from reaching leadership positions.

    Governments need to acknowledge the important role of women in nation building and focus on addressing the social and institutional factors that contribute to the perpetuation of inequality in the society. Various policies ranging from economy, education, women's welfare and human resources should be formulated to encourage support for girl's and women's empowerment.
  • Luz Maria Utrera

    1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?


    I believe that many aspects of our society still dont take women seriously and I believe for true economic parity this needs to change. 

    Executive Director of U.N. Women, and U.N. Undersecretary-General, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in an address to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) Session, pointed out that achieving gender equality by 2030 ...will require unprecedented political leadership, dedicated and vastly increased resources, and new partnerships across the whole of society.”

    In the same breath, in order for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030, the following crucial areas need to be addressed; 

    1. Equality in Education 
    Education serves as an enabler, empowering women to expand their knowledge so that they can seek employment and make better decisions for themselves and their household. Removing barriers to accessing education will lessen the likelihood for early marriages, unintended pregnancies and domestic violence as well as reduce poverty. Countries like Benin and Bangladesh have implemented initiatives which prove that unrestricted access to education improves economic outcomes for women and girls. There need to be campaigns that reflect what problems women and girls face that are influenced by economic inequality.

    11. Equality in employment and economic empowerment 
    If women had equal access to employment and economic opportunities, they would gain financial empowerment and pursue better life choices. As such, advocating for equal pay for all women and supporting the Women Empowerment Principles for the UN would encourage companies to stop discrimination in their workplace and improve the hiring, retention and promotion of women in their businesses.

    111. Equality in Leadership
    When there is greater female participation in leadership and decision-making, gender equality and so, economic parity can be achieved because policies catering to the needs of women will then be implemented. In turn, the next generation of women will have better access to resources to improve their lives and the lives of their family.

    Determining how realistic achieving economic parity for women and girls by 2030 is, requires assessing the political and social will of the people within the society to invest the requisite commitment and resources. Considering that attitudes towards gender equality are reinforced by long established social, cultural, political and religious norms and mores however, universal economic parity for women and girls by 2030 while not impossible, may be unrealistic.

    Promoting young women’s economic empowerment and skills development should thus be regarded as a key pillar in the gender equality strategies of the governments, businesses, NGOs, Civil Society and other stakeholders.
    • 3. What institutional changes must be made to enable women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?


    I will set the example of the political participation of women in my country. Nowadays in Mexico we only have one woman governing the state of the 32 states of Mexico, three members of the cabinet of the president the women and in the congress only hay 48 women deputies of 500, and this does not Give an image of inclusion.

    So there must be changes in political institutions as in political parties, government secretaries and more women postulated to positions of popular choice that is to say there must be more participation of women in politics, since they are the most knowledgeable of the problem and Are those that would implement the public policies and laws necessary to achieve the economic growth of women, that is to say, The more women with voice and influence are in the making Political decisions means that there are more public policies and programs with a gender perspective, leading to better, more inclusive public management that recognizes the diversity of women and promotes their empowerment in all aspects.
    • Richard Castillo
      Andony, Thank you for taking the time in participating in our online consultation!  The question, how do we get women to take active role in their government? Especially, in very patriarchal societies in which women have formed a culture of male-dominated governments. It easy to say that it should but what we need to look for is how do we go about placing these women in those leadership roles. The way I believe go about this is by us challenging the cultural behavior of communities, as everyone knows Culture is taught. So, what we need to do re-educate all members within the community by encouraging girls to speak up and teach boys to listen, the more platforms we give young girls the more of opportunity we will see them flourish into strong leaders of tomorrow.
    1 of 1 Replies
    • 2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as barriers to the economic empowerment of girls and women? Can you bring examples? What can governments do to address this?


    Unfortunately in the 21st century, discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes do exist, and of course there are strong obstacles to women being treated in a dignified and equitable manner, and as limiting their rights to equal opportunities in education, Work, family and society. For example, there are various effects and consequences of gender discrimination, especially in employment. Gender discrimination in the workplace creates an increase in employee turnover and creates a hostile work environment. Gender discrimination also promotes harassment and possible violence in the workplace.

    That is why women need comprehensive policies that allow; For example, victims of this problem have the right to file lawsuits to recover the damages they suffered as a result of discriminatory practices.

    By the government must enact federal laws that prohibit gender discrimination. In addition to the diversity and inclusion policies that serve to remedy gender discrimination through the promotion of gender equality.
    Also the governments of the world should have programs to support women entrepreneurs as this would increase the number of women leading small and medium enterprises with the opportunity to grow more and this would also be encouraging women to play their leadership.


    But in order to achieve a change and arrive at a solution to the problem of gender stereotypes, we must begin at the individual level, which is certainly a challenge, because it involves assuming different attitudes, congruent actions and postures that reflect our personal commitment to a new vision of The social reality, taking it to the common spaces such as the workplace and the educational environment, the environment of institutions, family relationships and couples, is a major task because it supposes in addition to the individual commitment, the collective.
    We should also start from home as it is one of the places where it could be started. For example, what changes need to be made in family organization to distribute workloads and responsibilities more equitably.
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      I'm really happy you mentioned governments should enact laws to prevent gender discrimination and those who are discriminated on must have the right to see redress at a proper cout of jurisdiction. I embrace your call for gender stereotypes to be fought against first at the individual level. These points will be duly taken into consideration and we are much grateful for your time and inputs.
    1 of 1 Replies
    • 1. What do women and girls need to achieve economic parity by 2030? It's realistic. What strategies do you suggest that governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?


    From my point of view, the empowerment of women is indispensable for achieving sustainable development in 2030, I will give an example of the problem of my country. In Mexico women receive 46% less wages for doing the same type of work as men, 42% less on the workforce, and with respect to income, Mexican women receive 54% less than men. In order to achieve economic parity, the only way to achieve this is through laws, that is, to regulate companies and oblige them to give the same amount of payment to men and women, as long as they do the same amount of work; They think it is possible that the most viable way to achieve economic parity in 2030.
    Although civil society must intervene to achieve this type of action, for example, it puts pressure on government authorities to carry out the necessary laws to achieve gender equality.
    In my case the ambassador of MyWorldMexico has reached an alliance with the congress of my state in which it is observant citizens and we see that the public policy of sustainable development is fulfilled and not left aside, One of the laws that is seeing is the Law for the equality of women and men in the state and the allocation of resources for the fulfillment of public policies and programs focused on the theme of gender equality.
  • Leah Davidson
    Here are my initial thoughts on the questions:

    1. Although gender parity by 2030 is a good and ambitious goal, it will be very difficult to change tradition and entrenched mindsets. Many challenges are also specific to different countries and regions and the state of women in those areas. For example, in Canada and the US, challenges are to encourage girls to pursue STEM and entrepreneurship and advance to leadership positions in business and government, whereas in developing countries the challenge may be regarding the recognition of women's basic human rights (e.g. access to healthcare and education). Different types of institutions (NGO, business, government, multilateral institution) can encourage cross-sector collaboration, open dialogue, and more committed resources (i.e. funding) to further close the gender gap.
    2. Gendered stereotypes affect the careers that women pursue and the subjects they choose to study in school, as well as societal expectations about their level of success. It also becomes apparent in how women are perceived for leadership positions http://www.catalyst.org/media/catalyst-study-exposes-how-gender-based-stereotyping-sabotages-women-workplace. Other stereotypes are that women are not assertive enough to lead and that women's family and work commitments are at odds with one another. Governments can create more accommodating policies on paid maternity leave and affordable childcare to help women balance family commitments.
    3. To promote women's economic growth, there should be more financial resources available for women to pursue higher education and business development. I worked in Peru and India in women's microfinance and noticed that major obstacles were access to business training and microcredit at affordable interest rates. Each country is very different, however, and culturally sensitive needs assessment should be tailored to different environments.
    4. There are many ways that we can encourage girls to go into leadership and STEM fields. Parents, teachers, and community members should pay special attention to how they speak to girls early on, encouraging them to pursue unconventional interests (toys, school subjects, sports, etc.), giving them exposure to women leaders, and believing in their potential. From an employer standpoint, companies should also make sure that employees are trained in implicit bias and aware of how this can factor into hiring and promotion decisions.
    5. Men can speak out against harrassment and discrimination in the workplace and actively try to sponsor female colleagues, recognizing that it is not a zero-sum game. They should also play a role in celebrating the accomplishments of women. Some companies, such as Capital One, have created formalized male allies programs, and in development contexts, there have also been programs designed to give men more exposure into women's perspectives through role play and small group discussions: http://technical.ly/dc/2016/11/18/capital-one-tech-male-allies-program/.
    http://www.womenforwomen.org/campaigns/engaging-men-allies-and-partners
  • José van Helden
    My answer at A3 :
    1 In the relation : Men and women should have the intention  that the woman is financial independent. Even when it makes her mobility and possibilities less, finacial independence is one of the best basics/ posisition. As well for life as in a relation
    In jobs : equivalence in chances in getting a ( new )  job or being an entrepeneur
    Country - family : To have the freedom as well in the family and the country being a woman, to study and practice after the study work. Work in what you wnat and what suits you as a person. When there are children ( in the future ) there has to be made decisions and solutions who and how is taking care of the children.
    For everybody and every where : there are possibilities and there are limits. Also change needs patience. This all starts with yourself.
    • Very valid points indeed ! We should focus on these points as I guess they will help uscobtribute towards economic empowerment of young girls and women in society
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      Very good points raised here! Your arguments buttress the fact that when women are empowered in every aspects of our living,they become independent and self-reliant. Thank you !
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  • http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1081&context=cehsedaddiss


    T
    his a is a great read for me and it provides great insights on how we need to RE-ADDRESS& ReWRITE & RE-EDUCATE & REA-DVOCATE  for Women History, Women Strengths, Women Achievments, Women capabilities.

    We as women need to write about our experinces and changes our communities, societies has on us as Women and re- Inform ourselves on how to empower each other as Leaders.

    #WomeninSolidarity
    @EmpoweringWomen
    • Malvika Iyer
      Dear Wilhelmia,

      Thank you for sharing. The document emphasizes society’s attitudes concerning female leaders and how important it is to motivate women especially young women to pursue positions of leadership. Like you said, we need to share our stories of struggles and challenges to create awareness and eliminate gender biases and stereotypes.

      Regards,
      Malvika Iyer.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Question 3: What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

    To achieve economic growth, my country Namibia needs to improve their transport, electricity and water supplies and services. Reliable, accessible energy, transport and communication services support increased productivity, assists trade and creates an environment in which business can flourish. Access to infrastructure enables people to take advantage of economic opportunities and access markets, jobs, information and training.

    Underlying these constraints are discriminatory social and cultural attitudes and their manifestations that can significantly affect women's engagement with the economy and in productive activities. Most prominent are attitudes that view women's primary role as being in the domestic sphere, resulting in women performing the large majority of care work. This work is often neither paid nor counted, but nevertheless contributes to local and national economies and limits the time and energy that women have to devote to paid work. Where women are engaged in paid work they are often socialized into traditional or marginal sectors and jobs. Cultural norms can also severely restrict women's mobility in the public domain or lead to acceptance of violence against women, acting as a strong deterrent to women's autonomy.


    #WomeninPower
    @EconomicGrowthinWomen
    @EmpoweringWomen&girls
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      Thank you so much for your inputs. Indeed economic development of women can been achieved when systems are put in place taking into consideration the SDGs because of their all encompassing nature. Women need to be heard and given an equal platform to reach higher heights to give lending credence to the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states "All humans must be equal in rights and dignity". Thank you.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Thanks for all your efforts to all the Mentors, Your Work is valued!! Well done xxooxx


    What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity 

    1. Reach zero Tolerance for GBV on girls and women
    2. Empower young girls and women aligning with our traditional, cultural practices
    3. Have Gender sensitive practices across all levels of engagement, household, education, family, community, government
    4. Put women in Power
    5. Put More Women in Decision- Making processes from grassroot levels upwards..
    #YouthCSW61
    @EmpowerGirls
    @EmpowerWomen
    #WEE


     

    • Malvika Iyer
      The pointers that you have mentioned are very important to ensure economic empowerment of women in rural and urban areas. Especially the third point which gives importance to gender senstive practices throughout our community and not limit it to the work of an individual. Thank you for sharing.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • shruti kapoor
    A5: Los hombres pueden hablar contra el acoso en el lugar de trabajo
  • Jason Tan de Bibiana

    One strategy that has been promoted a lot recently in Canada is focusing on gender parity among leadership on corporate boards and government boards. Women still represent only 4.9% of CEO's, 6.9% of top earners and 15.9% of board of directors in Canada.

    From the bottom-up, there are initatives gaining traction like #GoSponsorHer, encouraging senior leaders to sponsor (commit to supporting career advancement) women in their networks, and from the top-down, governments are also setting gender-diversity targets.

    Organizations can also do a much better job of preventing and addressing the impacts of gender-based violence - this recent study found that more than a third of Canadian women have experienced domestic violence (with even higher rates for Aboriginal respondents, respondents with disabilities, and LGBT respondents), and among those who reported experiences of violence, only 11% thought that their employers were aware that this was happening. This is unacceptable.

    We're not experts in this area, but we think we've also noticed that there is more focus on getting women who are already established in their careers to the next level. So, we were pretty excited to see how successful our friends' initiative - Filling the Gap Toronto - has been in reaching out to young professionals and young women to support their professional journeys with really practical tools and resources. 

    Lastly, there is definitely an important role for men to play in addressing gender bias and discrimination!

    Social norms and stereotypes around gender roles have an impact on the economic opportunities for people of all genders, and continue to inform the attitudes of men towards formal paid work and unpaid care work. Some Canadian provinces have found that women still spend twice as much time on unpaid care work as men, although the trend seems to be moving in the right direction.

    We are committed to continuing to work with boys and young men to encourage them to think critically about gender roles and stereotypes at an early age, and we also feel that there is a lot of work to be done to shift the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of older men in the workplace and men in leadership positions to promote gender equity, diversity, and inclusion! 

    • Jason Tan de Bibiana

      Hey Richard --

      Yeah I don't know / am not sure if it's possible to generalize about urban vs. rural areas in Canada... but the gender wage gap definitely does exist in the big Canadian cities and urban centres. The province of Alberta relies heavily on resource (oil and gas) extraction, which has a big influence on the economic opportunities that are available, and a lot of the highest-paying technical AND corporate jobs in oil and gas are dominated by men (news article on this, report on this, plus a report on designing pay equity laws!). Alberta has one of the biggest gender pay gaps, but it exists across the country (Canadian women earned on average 72% of what men earned in 2011). As you mentioned, one of the factors is that women are overrepresented in lower-paying sectors and fields. 

      I thought this recent article about the gender stereotypes and earning prospects of different types of jobs, and how this is changing and affecting poeple of all genders was really interesting! 

      Thanks Joshua -- definitely agree about creating an 'enabling environment'
    • Richard Castillo
      Jason, This is incredible that all these initiatives are going on in Canada!


      Canadian provinces-They are more than 60% of minimum wage earners and overrepresented in low-paying careers. This happens even though Alberta women tend to be highly educated. Is this due to the lack of economic opportunity or is it based on where the women reside for example urban and rural areas?
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      These sound really good to know as measures employed by societies in Canada to help achieve gender parity and address domestic violence against women. I must reiterate that men really need to rally around the vision of creating that enabling environment for women to be empowered in all facets of our lives. Your points were well articulated and would be taken into consideration. Thank you!
    3 of 3 Replies
  • Mayukh Sen
    2.I personally believe economic development of women are hampered because of the psychology of the society that is prevalent in our community. It is alll about the stereotype that one holds against women which hampers the development of women. Taking into consideration the viewpoint of guardian and parents it would be seen they are afraid of their girl child being exposed to the outside world . Their reasons are justified because it is the mindset of the society which imparts the idea of inferiority of women.
    Even when one female individual wants to prosper and promote the economic development of Individual' self, she has to face the problems and barriers which a man supposedly will not face in our society. Our society's ideologies has been formed in such a way that even when a women tries to prosper it isa  toll on the EGO of certain individuals which ultimately hinders the development of women. 
    At this juncture  only thing that requires change for the development of women is the stereotype that society holds against them. 

    The government of respective countries must discuss about laws which gives equal rights to women. In workplace or any other profession they must not face discrimination. But then again there are lot of laws that have been passed but still stereotype is prevalent in our society. On the other hand as I mentioned above there must be change in mindset of individuals before changing the society as a whole. Also education must be driving force of change for ending the notions of what society have against women.
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      We really need to join in the crusade to ensure the stereotype people hold against women's economic development is put to an end. And this  be achieved through action campaigns and education. Thanks for your wonderful submissions 
    • Mayukh, I have to thank you for everything you mentioned in your comment. It is significant that a man first of all is so aware of the difficulties we have in having a place in this world. Well done. And thank you for recognizing that our environment greatly contributes to how we succeed as women in society. It truly is not easy and if culture, society and family support women, what a different place this would be right? Please keep commenting and stating your feedback. As a young man and one from a male dominated society, we need you! Big thanks and so much gratitude!
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Sabin Muzaffar
    Ans 2) In Eastern societies, women still have to fight cultures of care which restrict women's access to opportunities. Because woman more than often shoulder care work, and are considered primary and/or main care givers - not only they themselves but also the corporate world deem it best not to offer many opportunities to them. This has been cited by many but the problem is care work has seldom come up as a topic or an issue at state level. So it is absolutely critical to talk about this issue on every level and also urge policy makers to consider it as one of the main priorities which in fact can help trigger positive human and economic development.


    Ans 3 &4 ) it is critical to have not only gender sensitive curricula but teachers and academia should be given training in terms of gender senstivity, inclusion and diversity. This should extend to corporate level as well in terms of corporate policies, workplace environment and colleague interaction.

    Ans 4) Extracurricular actvities that encourage STEM and entrepreneurship should be introduced - programs on two levels: single sex as well as teams with both boys and girls. It has been noted many a times, that girls thrive in all-girls programs more as they are more comfortable in such environment.
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      Wonderful submissions. Indeed gender sensitivity must be swiftly dealt with and initiatives like STEM and entrepreneurship must be largely encouraged to help bridge the gender gap. Thank you!
    • Richard Castillo
      Sabin, Welcome to the online consultation! I have to say you make strong points within your answers, but curious if you could elaborate more about the implementation in your answers in number 3&4. What level do we begin incorporating these programs within the educational system?

      In response to your first answer, I come from Southeast Asian, where many women are not only the care worker but the primary providers who go abroad to provide monetary support. My take on this is that there needs to equal responsibility in care, that women should not be the only one to feel the burden of being responsible as care-takers. The way we go about this is by teaching our sons to take on shared roles.
    2 of 2 Replies
  • A:5 Maintaining check and balance, providing safeguard to colleagues and staff, should welcome women to participate actively and motivate them on every step, raise voice for their rights and make them realize their worth and importance towards welfare & economic growth & development of the society. To give them exposure and know how to act towards a particular situation and make them understand what defensive action should be adopted and what measures should be taken to protect her and maintain her respect and worth in the society and workplace
  • A: 4 We can organize business ideas summit where young girls will provide new innoative business ideas and companies can takeup them and help them achieve their goals. This will help to develop confidence in young girls so that she can open new doors in entrepreneurship and can become a good leader which works with team and stand with team to encourage them towards innovation and betterment of society in terms of economic growth & development
  • A:3 Active contribution and involvement of girls in economic growth leading projects by the institutions help alot & provide opportunity to young girls to apply their knowledge and play their role in economic growth. Such campaigns should be arranged which bring girls in the projects that ultimately lead to economic development and growth. Institutions should have exchange of ideas, should have new projects, should have activities that actively involve girls and help them contribute towards economic growth. They should give exposure to girls, tell them proper paths, directions, plan of action, outcomes, results, drawbacks in short proper guidance should be provided to girls so that they can contribute in a better way towards economic growth
  • Verónica Rivera
    5. We know that harassment at work is a daily situation and, without a doubt, the role of men is fundamental to eliminate these discriminatory practices.

    It is necessary for men to become involved and recognize the work that women perform in their workplaces; also it is necessary to implement policies within companies to penalize  harassment against women and I personally belive that it is very important to encourage women's business leadership within companies to strengthen their areas.

    The jobs for women must be safe, I mean, the work environment must be stable, safe, comfortable and always trying to promote the decent work, without physical or psychological risks.
    • Richard Castillo
      Verónica, Thank you for taking part in the online consultation. You make a valid point of how we should be addressing harassment at the workplace.  If we are going to address harassment we need to include everyone in the discussion, especially if we are to creating a culture of zero tolerance for harassment at work. No women should feel unsafe nor impression that she can't take on a leadership role.

      What men can do to end harassment is by not part taking in inappropriate, and not tolerating the behavior to do on. Another thing that men can do in management roles is by providing women equal opportunities to take on leadership roles. The more opportunities that you give the more chances of altering the mindset within a office.
    1 of 1 Replies
  • A:2 Discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as barriers for girls in their empowerment because in a male dominating society women are given 2nd preference not 1st no matter how much experienced a girl is. She is a girl then she will not be the 1st priority. At every step she is reminded that she is a girl so she cannot have this opportunity or she cannot do this work. Only males can do this work.  To overcome this issue and discrimination government should allocate quota system so that equal opportunities will be provided to all genders. Laws should be passed for rights of women so that they can have equal opportunity to show their skills and talent to the world
    • Oh yes definitely agree with you as it is said charity begins at home similarly we should focus on bringing change in ourselves first and then to our  and society... Moreover if a girl will face resistance within the premises of her home she will not be able to  out and prove herself and be independent... She will always rely on others and will lack confidence in taking steps and decisions
    • Richard Castillo
      Farwa,

      Welcome and thank you for participating in the online consultation on young women's economic empowerment.

      I agree that social norms and gender-based stereotypes are the reasons that hinder many young women from being empowered. The implementation of laws are just a fraction of the solution, but what we should be looking at is how do we redefine the discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes. The best way to address these barriers is by starting at home ending the gender stereotypes and changing the mindset  on the ground.
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Mayukh Sen
    I personally believe economic development of women are hampered because of the psychology of the society that is prevalent in our community. It is alll about the stereotype that one holds against women which hampers the development of women. Taking into consideration the viewpoint of guardian and parents it would be seen they are afraid of their girl child being exposed to the outside world . Their reasons are justified because it is the mindset of the society which imparts the idea of inferiority of women.
    Even when one female individual wants to prosper and promote the economic development of Individual' self, she has to face the problems and barriers which a man supposedly will not face in our society. Our society's ideologies has been formed in such a way that even when a women tries to prosper it isa  toll on the EGO of certain individuals which ultimately hinders the development of women. 
    At this juncture  only thing that requires change for the development of women is the stereotype that society holds against them. 
  • Joy Ogbechi
    I would like to begin a discussion on what institutional changes could be made in order for girls and women to access initiatives that promote economic growth.  

    Before I start, I would like to ask why, inspite of countless discussions and agreements, such as the Beijing Agreement, various world leaders that signed up to the same agreement have failed to incorporate institutional changes, already been identified and agreed? 

    Is what required simply a change in institution idealogy, practices or indoctrination?  

    Who are the key institution decision makers but most importantly, who are those responsible for implementing them?  

    Why has the less developed world still supressed institutional initiatives that promote economic growth for women?  
    • Richard Castillo
      I'm curious on your take on the question, What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?
    • Richard Castillo
      Joy, 


      Thank you for taking the time to participate in our online consultation on young women's economic empowerment and kicking off our discussion on this important topic. To answer your questions, let us look at the question, "What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth"?  My personal belief that we have to ask ourselves, "Are we holding the governments accountable, and what action have done to follow up on those promises?" Yes, 189 government representatives were present and took part in the Beijing Agreement but so did 30,000 activist and additional 17,000 participated. For use to create true systemic change is by taking action on the ground as members of civil society and reminding government representatives of the promises they made in the promotion of gender equality in all dimension of life. The way we go about to achieving institutional changes is identifying what are the barriers that preventing young women in achieving economic growth.  By challenging cultural norms as stereotypes, addressing the lack of access to quality education and health opportunities, but most importantly finding ways for young women entrepreneurs to obtain low-interest loans, to begin their own business.
    2 of 2 Replies
  • Joy Ogbechi
    Hello, is the consultation discussion still taking place?  How do I join?
    • JOSHUA KOBLA ADZAKPA
      The online consultation is still on. Please read and write your submissions on the five(5) questions asked and your valuable and immeasurable contributions would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.
    1 of 1 Replies
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