UN Women – Women's Empowerment Principles

Equality Means Business

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are a set of Principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They are the result of a collaboration between the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, part of UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact. The development of the Principles included an international multi-stakeholder consultation process, which was launched in March 2009.
Sub-titled Equality Means Business, the Principles emphasize the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe. Rather than being prescriptive or a new initiative to which business is asked to subscribe, the Women’s Empowerment Principles seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and business’ role in sustainable development. As well as being a useful guide for business, it is hoped that Principles will inform other stakeholders, including governments, in their engagement with business.

CEO Statement of Support

In an effort to bolster high-level corporate leadership for gender equality, top executives of Global Compact companies are invited to sign a CEO Statement of support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business. The Women’s Empowerment Principles were launched by the UN Global Compact and UNIFEM on 8 March 2010 after a year long multi-stakeholder consultation. Sub-titled Equality Means Business, the Principles offer guidance to companies on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community and emphasize the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality. By signing the Statement, CEOs will demonstrate leadership on gender equality and women’s empowerment and will encourage fellow business leaders to do the same.

Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business

1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
2. Treat all women and men fairly at work-respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.
4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.
5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

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