Drivers of Change

Published:  02:17 AM, 05 November 2019

The women's economic empowerment global summit to be held in Sharjah in December

The women's economic empowerment global summit to be held in Sharjah in December More than 1,000 participants will come together in Sharjah to discuss issues related to women's empowerment and gender equity.

'Drivers of Change', the Women's Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS) will take forward the important conversations on women advancement and empowerment in both economic and professional domains, in its upcoming second edition to be held on December 10,11 in Sharjah.

More than 1,000 participants will come together at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) in Sharajah. They will discuss issues related to women's empowerment and gender equity with advocates, governmental, non-governmental and private sector representatives, and academics, who can influence global policies, inform grassroot actions, boost women's career prospects in all fields and advocate the formation of inclusive work ecosystems.

Being held under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), WEEGS is organised by NAMA in collaboration with UN Women. The theme, 'Drivers of Change', reflects the summit's dedication to bolstering discussions with international decision-makers, developing current strategies, potential opportunities and case studies that enhance equitable opportunities for women in all sectors.

Through its programmes and pillars, the second edition of the summit seeks to create a sustainable action plan, with the focus being placed on key aspects that support 'Drivers of Change', most notably gender-responsive procurement, women's participation in global value chains, Women's Empowerment Principles (WEP) and women's access to finance and funding.

Drivers of change will address labour market challenges women face.
The summit's theme, 'Drivers of Change' was inspired by the challenges that women face in the global workplace, and will shine light on how fully harnessing women's potential will create a more stable, prosperous future for the region.

A report published by the World Bank indicates that "currently, women make up only 21% of the labour force and only contribute 18% to MENA's overall GDP. Had the gender gap in labour force participation been narrowed over the past decade, the GDP growth rate in MENA could have doubled or increased by about US$1 trillion in cumulative output."

Through the two-day discussions guided by the WEEGS 2019 theme, NAMA seeks to reinforce regional and global efforts to find effective and sustainable solutions for women's economic inclusion Globally as well, qualitative studies and evidence-based reports on gender equity and empowerment of women and girls reveal that ground realities are plagued by deep trenches of inequality between men and women.

The summit will highlight the importance of reviewing legislation, internal regulations and policies of government and private entities while also emphasising the need to bring together all initiatives and efforts working towards the common goal to make a difference and drive change.

The summit's theme also points to global trends that are driving efforts towards furthering women's partnership and their pivotal role in new non-traditional sectors and emerging markets, particularly in view of technological advancement, high education rates and the skillsets that enable women to join the labour market.

Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, pointed out that WEEGS will evaluate women's achievements in various economic sectors at the national, regional and global levels. "The summit aims to develop relevant action plans and best practice mechanisms as well as identify strategies, which will widen the scope of these achievements and take them to more advanced levels," she said.

NAMA is a Sharjah based non-profit organisation that believes that women are important human capital and works towards advancing them "We look upon women in the region and the world as a united, coherent community. This vision is enshrined in our strategic partnership with UN Women and civil society organisations in many countries. It aligns with our belief that women are an indispensable human resource for the development of every nation. By helping create a better entrepreneurial ecosystem for women and enhancing their skills, we can really boost their role in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals," added Reem BinKaram.

The debut edition of WEEGS 2017 had forged local and international partnerships to promote and support gender equity. It brought together 14 local and global entities that pledged to take action and provide economic environment that support women through the implementation of Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) that were launched by UN Women.

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