Monday 20, November 2017 by Jessica Combes

WEEGS 2017 Programme geared towards women’s integration in the economy

 

The upcoming Women's Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS 2017), focused on furthering gender-responsive procurement and women’s full integration in the economy by securing their interests, has released its two-day main panels agenda.

The summit’s discussion sessions will seek to influence the global decision-making process and shape global policies to advance women in the economy, and will feature high-profile officials and international experts, thought leaders and successful women entrepreneurs.

Organised by NAMA Women Advancement Establishment in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), on 4-5 December 2017 at Expo Centre Sharjah, the first edition of the WEEGS will be held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of NAMA and Honorary Patron of the Global Women's Inclusion Initiative. 

Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a priority throughout the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the summit is one of the efforts to support furthering it.

“WEEGS emphasises the fundamental role of the UAE in the development of women regionally and internationally. Through this strong collaboration between NAMA and UN Women, we will establish innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships, and identify key milestones we need to reach to bring about transformative action that will help us achieve the SDGs,” said Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA. 

Day 1

A panel titled ‘Government Policies and the Private Sector’s Responsibility in Women’s Economic Advancement’, will open the proceedings of WEEGS 2017, which will address the pivotal role of governments in furthering gender equity by enforcing policies and legislations that will encourage the workplace to adopt best practices in the field.

The second panel, ‘Industry Leaders Supporting Gender-responsive Procurement’, will shed light on how both public and private entities can play a pivotal role in ensuring stability and enhancing competitiveness of female-owned enterprises – especially in their formative years – by dedicating some of their purchases to businesses owned by them.

Themed ‘Financial Innovations and Solutions’, the third panel highlights key challenges in the form of guarantees and stringent terms and conditions that stand between women and funding opportunities, and will provide concrete recommendations to overcome these roadblocks. 

“The summit’s topics were carefully selected to cover key themes that underline our efforts in empowering women economically. Through the panels, we seek to highlight key challenges that face women in business, and find simple and practicable solutions that will transform these challenges into opportunities,” BinKaram noted.

Day 2 

‘Access to Innovative learning’ – day two’s first and the summit’s fifth panel – sheds light on how women-owned businesses can benefit from 21st century skills and technologies like internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). 

‘Emirati Women: Potential & Possibilities’ will be a closed session for female attendees, and highlight how the unparalleled support of the UAE’s leadership has shaped a society in which local women enjoy great status, especially in the economic sector.

‘The Cost of Violence on Women’s Economic Participation’, will address this significant challenge women face world over, and how it has far-reaching negative impacts on a country’s overall economic development. Discussion points will includes, preventive measures and the need for creating enabling environments for women at home and in the workplace.

The final panel ‘Driving WEPs Implementation: From Promise to Practice’, will explore the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles (WEP), which were laid out to establish gender equity in its true sense by enabling real partnerships between women and women to drive economic development in communities. The session will place a special emphasis on how these can be actioned by the organisations who adopt the principles and how to track their implementation.

Women’s economic empowerment is not only a pillar of sustainable development and a driver of wellbeing in families and communities; it is a key enabler of gender equity. A 2015 McKinsey Global Institute Report claims that gender equity in marketplace and economy can add $28 trillion to the Gross World Product (GWP) by 2025. This is why WEEGS 2017 will be a significant milestone in demarcating the lines of the women’s empowerment roadmap that the world needs to commit themselves to in order for us to fulfil the 2030 SDGs. 

The Women Economic Empowerment Global Summit will also include a variety of sessions discussing women in the economy in the following areas: energy, sustainability and environment; city planning, infrastructure and architecture; transport, logistics and travel; science, health and sports; information and communication technology (including information security); marketing, media and events management.

WEEGS 2017 will also further solidify NAMA’s efforts to implement the international ‘Equal Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs’ programme in Sharjah and UAE, which aims to empower women economically by ensuring a level playing field for men and women in business.

 

 

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