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Invest in women: Accelerate progress

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day under the theme ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate progress’, the UN Global Compact Network South Africa in partnership with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange hosted the 10th Annual Ring The Bell for Gender Equality on 11 March 2024.

With the aim to advance and bring attention to the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to raise awareness about the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), The Ring the Bell event is a global initiative organised alongside the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, the UN Global Compact and UN Women, Rand Merchant Bank and Women in ETFs.


“It is a day of heightened advocacy when we remind the various stakeholders that the work towards gender equality and the achievement of all associated freedoms and opportunities is not yet complete. We therefore call on business to make greater strides and to be deliberate in the way that they integrate the Principles into strategy and business practices,” says Dr Achieng Ojwang, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network South Africa.


In alignment with the theme of International Women’s Day, ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’ the event featured a keynote address from Dineo Lioma, an entrepreneur and innovator who highlighted the importance of investing in women entrepreneurs and the impact of their inclusion can have on the economy.

“If the rate of self-starting women in Africa is so high, why is it that we only receive seven percent of venture capital funding? this highlights the disparities in terms of access to financial resources,” noted Lioma. “A significant number of women entrepreneur’s face barriers such as limited access to capital, inadequate mentoring, as well as societal biases.”



Target Gender Equality is an accelerator programme for companies participating in the United Nations Global Compact to deepen their implementation of the Women’s Empowerment Principles and to strengthen their contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  In particular, the programme supports businesses in taking meaningful action towards SDG 5.5 which calls for women’s full participation and equal opportunities for leadership by 2030, as well as SDG 8.5 which aims to achieve equal pay for work of equal value by 2030.


Registration for the Target Gender Equality Accelerator 2024 is now open to participating companies of the UN Global Compact. Learn more:


Written by Sanelisiwe Mabaso