On 1 January 2018, the European Union (EU), UN Women and the International Labour Organization (ILO) began a three-year programme, WE EMPOWER: Promoting economic empowerment of women at work through responsible business conduct in G7 countries.

This project aims to support sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth by promoting women’s economic empowerment in public and private sector in G7 countries. 

Programme partners will help advance the G7 gender agenda by convening multistakeholder dialogues and knowledge exchanges on experiences, lessons learned and good practices in the key areas of the future of work, equal pay for work of equal value, work-life balance, childcare, and gender lens investing. These thematic areas were identified in a series of consultations held in 2017 and 2018 to ensure that the programme aligns with stakeholder needs.

The G7 recognises that women are key drivers of innovation growth and jobs, and that the private sector plays a crucial role in creating an environment in which women can more meaningfully participate in the economy and it has set concrete targets to achieve this.

The project aims to support sustainable and equitable economic growth by promoting women’s empowerment in the public and private sector in G7 countries. To do so, the project will take a two track approach: 
  • Track 1: Policy dialogues and knowledge management among G7 countries.
  • Track 2: Private Sector Engagement and the WEPs to eliminate gender inequality faced by working women.
The project’s guiding platform are the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), and guidance on labour issues will draw from international labour standards and ILO’s MNE Declaration.

WE EMPOWER aims to deepen private sector engagement with the WEPss to ensure effective implementation and reporting on progress. The programme will work closely with companies to support them in an enhanced WEPs Journey, from committing to gender equality and women’s empowerment to signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, and subsequently to implementing and reporting on progress.

The 250 best practices and case studies that will be produced by the programme, including on the future of work, will support implementation of the G7 Roadmap for a Gender-Responsive Economic Environment, adopted at the 2017 Summit in Taormina. In addition, the programme will strengthen linkages between women entrepreneur associations in Europe with those in the G7 countries, with the target of 400 women entrepreneurs with improved business contacts in G7 countries. Since many multinational corporations have their headquarters in G7 countries, creating positive impacts and results for women’s economic empowerment at the highest level of corporations could have important ripple effects for their operations and supply chains across the world.

Through the WE EMPOWER Programme, partners contribute to promoting gender equality globally with good practices. The programme places women’s economic empowerment at the heart of the Future of Work agenda and will help strengthen connections between women entrepreneur associations in Europe with those in fellow G7 countries.

Project objectives

The overall objective of this project is to support sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth by promoting women’s economic empowerment in the public and private sector in G7 countries. It is expected that the project will promote and widely disseminate internationally agreed principles and guidelines on women’s economic empowerment.
The specific objectives are to:

  1.   Facilitate dialogue and exchanges amongst G7 countries public and private sectors
  2.   Further engage with the private sector in the elimination of gender inequality faced by women in the world of work

Expected outcomes

The expected outcomes are:

  • - Multistakeholder dialogues advance women's economic empowerment across the G7 countries;
  • - Stimulating companies' exchanges and uptakes in G7 countries and with other companies across the world;
  • - Capacity of current/prospective WEPs companies to develop and implement gender-responsive practices in line with the WEPs;
  • - Companies voluntary monitoring and reporting strengthened;
  • - Women access economic opportunities.

Geographical focus

This project will be implemented in Canada, Japan and the United States. 









More information here.  

This programme is funded by the European Union Partnership Instrument. 















  • You must be logged in to post a comment
Please enter a comment
  • Colleen Ambrose
    Yes it's good to start with G7 countries, as they have the power to influence global issues.
1 of 1 comments