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What is women’s empowerment?

Women’s empowerment can be defined to promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others.

It is closely aligned with female empowerment – a fundamental human right that’s also key to achieving a more peaceful, prosperous world.

In Western countries, female empowerment is often associated with specific phases of the women’s rights movement in history. This movement tends to be split into three waves, the first beginning in the 19th and early 20th century where suffrage was a key feature. The second wave of the 1960s included the sexual revolution and the role of women in societyThird wave feminism is often seen as beginning in the 1990s.

Women’s empowerment and promoting women’s rights have emerged as a part of a major global movement and is continuing to break new ground in recent years. Days like International Women’s Empowerment Day are also gaining momentum.

But despite a great deal of progress, women and girls continue to face discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

 The Women’s Empowerment Principles

Created in a collaboration between the UN Global Compact and UN Women, the Women’s Empowerment Principles are used to empower women in the marketplace, workplace and community.

The seven Principles are:

  • Principle 1: Create high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
  • Principle 2: Treat all people fairly at work, respecting and supporting non-discrimination and human rights
  • Principle 3: Ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all workers, whether male or female
  • Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women
  • Principle 5: Implement supply chain, marketing practices and enterprise development that empower women
  • Principle 6: Champion equality through community initiatives and advocacy
  • Principle 7: Measure and report publicly on progress to create gender equality

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