Johannesburg, 9 March 2020.
For the sixth consecutive year and as part of a global collaboration across 75 exchanges around the world, the Global Compact Network South Africa partnered with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange this morning in ringing the bell for Gender Equality.
The events — which started globally on Monday 2 March, and will last for two weeks – are a partnership between IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs, to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment, and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.
Facilitating the Market Open, Shameela Soobramomey, Chief Sustainability Manager of the JSE said the Ring the Bell Event is both a celebration of what women have achieved despite significant barriers, and a reflection as a country, as companies and as individuals of how much work remains to be done. Delivering the Keynote Address, Dr Mantsika Matooane, JSE Board Member and Chairman of the Risk Committee called for financial inclusion, diversity and equality as critical for long term success of business.
This year, the UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’. The theme marks the milestones that have been achieved such as the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995, to advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. In addition, 2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact, 10th anniversary of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a five-year milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and the 10th anniversary of UN Women’s establishment.
“Gender equality should be at the top of the agenda for all decision makers, from policy makers to CEOs and investors,” said Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “When women are empowered, economies grow, businesses thrive and sustainable development flourishes. We need to work together to accelerate the pace of change if we are going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
“Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” events around the world encourage participants to scale-up efforts to achieve gender equality in their markets, industries and organizations by adopting and implementing the WEPs. A joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women, the WEPs provide a holistic roadmap to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. Private sector, civil society, Governments and the UN need to work together if we are to achieve gender equality and the other Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Accessing Guidance, Tools & Resources
For companies that would like to intensify or begin a deliberate journey towards gender equality and inclusion, please visit our website link for more information: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/take-action/action/womens-principles. We advise that you begin your journey by signing the WEPs CEO Commitment: https://www.weps.org/join and conducting a gender gap assessment: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/take-action/action/womens-principles/weps_tool.
For more information, please contact the Global Compact Network South Africa at: [email protected]; Telephone: 011-771-4142