Delegate Name: Mary England
Committee: UN Women
Topic: Women’s Economic Empowerment
Gender inequality is a large issue in society and always has been. Empowering women’s economic rights is key to closing gender caps. Several women are not even given the chance to work and the amount of female unemployment is greater than that of males. The Agenda for sustainable development has gender equality at the top of their list. The more women that work the more economies grow. Countries that have a large percentage of female employment have shown to have a boosted GDP. Out of employed women, the majority work informal jobs compared to men. Another gap in gender inequality is wages. Women are paid about 23 percent less than men. Women also participate in unpaid labor that stems from traditional and somewhat old fashioned ideas of a woman’s place. Often employed women are also susceptible to harassment and drive women away from economic empowerment.
France is working to decrease gender gaps and increase the economic empowerment of women. Poverty affects women before men. France believes that women are key in the development of economies. France has partaken in the Global Survivors Fund which supports victims of domestic and sexual violence and encourages them to reenter society. They donated 6.2 million Euros to the fund in the past two years. Gender equality is a priority for France and wants to aid in helping solve issues that prevent a growth in the gender gap. The Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) is supported by France in hopes to assist female entrepreneurs that can allow for the growth of empowerment for women.
France is looking to lead by example. To start, France would like to see an increase in the amount of women in higher power positions to help build awareness for this topic. The European Union framework has different strategies that they have on their agenda. The biggest way to defeat gender equality is communicating without drawing gender stereotypes into the equation. Policies can be enforced that provide social protection systems such as pensions and paid maternity leave. Another large step includes the recognition of unpaid labor as work. Lastly, education is key to shifting women’s economic empowerment. By granting equal access to education women can learn new skills that put them at an advantage to getting better jobs and entering the labor force. As mentioned earlier there are also several funds such as the AFAWA that varying countries can support.