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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Inclusive and equitable economic growth can only be possible with women's economic empowerment, said Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, chairperson of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment and wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming Women's Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS 2019) in Sharjah, she noted that ensuring women's full participation in the economy is vital to boosting economic growth and achieving the wider sustainable development goals (SDGs) outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda. She also strongly called upon organisations and individuals to actively engage in the second edition of WEEGS, to be held on December 10-11, as it is a platform that unites diverse voices and stakeholders championing the cause of gender equity and women's economic empowerment.
"Women's realities are constantly changing," she said, adding that "integrating women in the economic domain and investing in their development will create a ripple effect that will benefit not just individual women but families, communities and nations around the world."
"Women are resourceful economic agents and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women is not merely a national or moral duty; it is a fundamental human right enshrined in the values of the United Nations. The fight for gender equity is a shared, global concern. A key challenge to women's economic empowerment is biased provisions often embedded in legal frameworks and policies. By advancing the public debate on gender equity, events like WEEGS can help create an enabling environment and catalyse governments, communities and legal institutions into action to frame egalitarian provisions to ensure women's participation in the real economy," she noted.
However, to bridge gender gaps in legislation and on the ground, the onus is on communities to consciously attempt to let go of discriminatory attitudes and mindsets, and to usher in a society that guarantees the social and economic empowerment of women, she added. Integrated and multidimensional approaches in women's advancement are vital to providing solutions to some of the unique challenges constraining women's empowerment globally.
"Social and economic empowerment aspects should be demarcated for women not only keeping in mind that they are - and must be - part of the labour market, but also valuable members of community with rights and duties on par with men," Sheikha Jawaher pointed out. "Increasing sustainable livelihoods of women is also a tool to advance social development, as it leads to reduction in poverty, better health conditions, higher education rates, and builds more inclusive societies by promoting social harmony."
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