Women’s economic empowerment has been identified as a key means for development and attaining the SDGs. Investment by MNEs can be a powerful tool to empower women, particularly in labour intensive, largely export-oriented industries and services. In many developing countries, MNEs have enabled women to enter the formal labour market for the first time – within their own companies or linked companies – through business opportunities generated in local, regional or global supply chains. At the same time, MNE investment poses several risks, as it can increase gender inequality and undermine work-life balance. Enhancing benefits of MNE investment for women’s economic empowerment requires grassroots action, a change in corporate strategies, inclusive government policies and a societal mind shift. Organized with UN Women, the Commonwealth and the Francophonie, this high-level meeting will weigh these issues and formulate new strategies for the public and private sector.
Issues for the debate:
- Are MNEs agents of change for women economic empowerment?
- How to empower a new generation of women in business leaders to act as feeders of sustainable development?
- What are the key policy considerations to mainstream women economic empowerment in investment and entrepreneurship policies?