8 March 2020, Washington. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the 2020 theme I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights could not be more relevant or more aligned to the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI) objectives and founding WEI pillars to support women’s economic empowerment worldwide.
Entrepreneurship, health and policy are key focus areas for WEI. They are all necessary for an equitable and equal world, one where we can reduce the current gender gaps that exist across various spheres and communities. This requires a coordinated effort and partnership across sectors to leverage both the expertise and experience that can lead to actionable steps and results. WEI remains committed to leading these efforts on the global platform.
As tasked in the 2019 WEI conference in Edinburgh, we have formed the WEI Advisory Council to support our key strategic objectives throughout 2020. The Council is led by Co-Chairs Belinda Ngongo, Founder, Pan African Women in Health (PAWH), and His Excellency, Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, former President of Costa Rica. The Co-Chairs will guide the roll-out of the Advisory Council 2020 Action Plan which will gather global momentum and move the needle on the economic empowerment of women.
With the Council now in place, President Solis Rivera noted that, “The WEI Advisory Council provides us with the platform and opportunity to craft a coordinated approach towards effecting the WEI strategic objectives in support of women’s economic empowerment. With the expertise and diverse experience of the Council, we have the opportunity to extend WEI’s presence at both a regional and global level.”
The Council members are renowned leaders and global influencers and include Kenyan Airways Captain and first female African Dreamliner pilot, Captain Irene Koki Mutungi; Chapter Leader/Head of Europe at Financial Data and Technology Association, Ghela Boskovich; Founder & Chair to the Executive Board on European Women Payments Network (EWPN), Martha Mghendi-Fisher; Nana Osei-Akoto; President and CEO of Phoenix Lifestyle Marketing Group, Elizabeth Kemp Caulder; Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kon, Mei-Po Kwan, PhD; and, Founder, So Orange, Peng Yang.
With a robust action plan in place, Council members will help to build networks to support the work of WEI. Advisory Co-chair, Belinda Ngongo stated that, “as members of the WEI Advisory Council, we look forward to forging strategic partnerships to advance WEI’s agenda of economically empowering women through entrepreneurship and advocacy. The Council aims to position WEI as an innovator and leader in the realization of women’s rights and gender equality.”
WEI was established in 2018 in response to the call to action of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Since its launch, WEI has embarked on several global initiatives focusing on innovation, enterprise and trade, spearheading action to create and grow sustainable economic opportunities for women.
Women’s equality and empowerment is one of the United Nations’ 17 SDGs and is central to all aspects of inclusive and sustainable development. The G20, leaders of the most powerful 20 countries in the world, made this commitment at their summit in Osaka in June 2019: “Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential for achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We reconfirm their importance in all aspects of our policies and as a cross-cutting issue at upcoming Summits.” However, according to the SDG Index research, no country is currently on track to achieve all SDG’s by 2030.
 Berteslmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2018) viii
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