Editorial: Economic empowerment for women, about time

UNITED Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday the first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment.

“The empowerment of the world’s women is a global imperative,” Ban was quoted in a press release, issued while he attended dozens of events at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The panel aims to provide leadership and enact concrete moves to close the economic gender gaps that still prevails all around the world.

“If the world is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we need a quantum leap in women’s economic empowerment,” he said. The panel will provide recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve women’s economic situations and promote women’s leadership in driving sustainable and inclusive, environmentally sensitive economic growth.

Time and again, economic studies especially on poverty alleviation will show that economic and education programs and projects for women tend to benefit more than just the beneficiary-woman, unlike when men are the beneficiaries. But, still, women cannot achieve the same economic empowerment as men, whether in corporate life or rural settings. Gender biases remain, everywhere.

“Investing in girls and women isn’t just about basic human rights, it’s about fully unlocking the potential of half the world’s population,” said UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening, a founding member of the panel.

“Strong economies need the contribution of everyone – including women – and this panel will spearhead a movement to put women’s economic empowerment on the global agenda like never before.”

True. While women quietly do their chores and earn a little more the whole family is benefitted, whether it be in more children being able to go to school or having better health than when a family would only rely on what the man of the house earns or gives.

It is timely then that as the world moves from its Millennium Development Goals in 2015 to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from 2016-2030 the power of women is harnessed as well because as the world tries to keep its resources available, we are well aware that these resources are fast-depleting.

We need the caring approach of women to ensure that policies and actions get a strong maternal perspective that keeps a keen eye out for every child and adolescent whether it be for education, sanitation, health, and most of all, water.
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