The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business, as a primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.
As social, political and economic challenges (and opportunities) — whether occurring at home or in other regions — affect business more than ever before, many companies recognize the need to collaborate and partner with governments, civil society, labour and the United Nations.
This ever-increasing understanding is reflected in the Global Compact's rapid growth. With 7,000 corporate signatories in 135 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
For the UN Global Compact, the Women’s Empowerment Principles bring a needed gender “lens” to the Global Compact’s 10 Principles and help articulate the gender dimension of good corporate citizenship and business' role in sustainable development.
In a recent General Assembly resolution UN Member States welcomed the Women's Empowerment Principles and specifically requested that Global Compact Local Networks promote the Women's Empowerment Principles and help create awareness of the many ways in which business can promote gender equality. Learn more.
For more information on the UN Global Compact, please visit www.unglobalcompact.org.
Created by the UN General Assembly in July 2010, UN Women - the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women - merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:
Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
Over many decades, the UN has made significant progress in advancing gender equality, including through landmark agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care. Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes.
For many years, the UN has faced serious challenges in its efforts to promote gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single recognized driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues. UN Women was created to address such challenges.
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the:
elimination of discrimination against women and girls;
empowerment of women; and
achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.
UN Women is committed to advancing women’s economic empowerment, inter alia, through engaging with business, recognizing the significant potential of the private sector for providing women with social and economic opportunities for their empowerment and advancement as well as the benefits resulting from women’s contributions to sustainable business at all levels and along the value chain. For UN Women, the WEPs provide an important and targeted tool for building strong partnerships with the private sector to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
For more information on UN Women, please visit www.unwomen.org.