On 28 October 2022, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organized an online exchange on gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship, bringing together officials and representatives from the Greater Amman Municipality (Jordan), Cajabamba (Peru), Yichun (China), and UNDP Country Office in Peru.
In cities across the world, women are a crucial force in economic development and social progress. They have been playing an important role in achieving sustainable and inclusive social and economic development.
In the Greater Amman Municipality, the Creative Women Hub aims to enhance the socio-economic empowerment of women and girls and activate their roles in society through social and vocational training, career guidance, and counseling services. Ms. Rasha Al Shawarbeh, Manager of Queen Rania Parks, at the Greater Amman Municipality, Jordan, introduced the Hub and how it operates as a productive incubator to increase women’s entrepreneurship skills and employability. It offers courses in e-marketing, digital literacy, craftsmanship and others, as well as provides trainees with the necessary facilities and tools to produce and promote their products.
Similar measures have been taken in the Yichun City of China. Ms. WANG Bingyang, Director of Development Department of Women’s Federation of Yichun, introduced that the city has held e-commerce training and workshops to improve women’s e-marketing skills and help them start their businesses, particularly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
While restrictions to minimize the spread of COVID-19 contributed to the rise of e-business and remote work, it also increased Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in many cities and countries. Ms. Ivan Margot Barrueto Madalengoitia, Councilor of the Provincial Municipality of Cajabamba, introduced the experience of groups of weavers and craftswomen that joined forces to support each other at both economic and social levels. Ms. Mixy Paredes, Coordinator of Project Justa of UNDP Peru, presented that the project supports women in Cajabamba and other cities and communities in Peru to define their own solutions, such as identifying local drivers of violence, locating sustainable financing to design and implement local action plans, etc. The project has incorporated more than 30 allied institutions that promote gender equality in the country.
Women and girls still face significant barriers and vulnerabilities to accessing resources, paid employment, and decision-making positions. It is therefore essential for cities to make transformations happen at the local level and as part of a community, to value and promote women’s activism, entrepreneurship, and gender equality. Knowledge exchange and South-South cooperation can help cities and communities to learn from each other and replicate effective policies and practices for a better and more equal future for all.
About South-South Cities Clusters
The UNOSSC Cities Project seeks to promote SSTC at the city and local levels. Under it, “South-South Cities Clusters” were launched on the South-South Galaxy platform to facilitate information sharing, knowledge exchange, networking, and project collaboration among cities, local authorities, UN agencies, and other development partners. Currently, it offers interactive thematic spaces on COVID-19 Response and Public Health; Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in Resilient Cities; Sustainable Tourism, Heritage Protection and Creative
Economy; Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development; E-Commerce, Digitization and Smart Cities; Sustainable Transport and Air Quality; Waste Management, Green Cities and Renewable Energy.