On 9 June 2023, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation’s (UNOSSC) Cities Project held an online exchange on women’s economic empowerment, bringing together officials and representatives from Buenos Aires (Argentina), Gurbhakot (Nepal), Sindh (Pakistan), Ya’an (China), and Ghana.
Investing in women’s economic empowerment is a direct pathway to achieving gender equality, eradicating poverty and fostering inclusive economic growth. Women contribute immensely to economies across various sectors, be it in businesses, agriculture, entrepreneurship, or unpaid care work. Empowering women in the economy and bridging gender gaps in the world of work are crucial to realizing the goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In Gurbhakot, Nepal, a notable project involves the distribution of tools and equipment related to agriculture and livestock to women, with the aim of encouraging their active participation in driving rural development. The city also plans to foster collaboration with nearby municipalities and cooperatives to enhance market access and income generation for women.
Recognizing the significance of financial tools and services for small businesses, Sindh Province in Pakistan has established linkages between female home-based workers and financial service providers. Additionally, capacity-building training is provided to these women to formalize their work and enable their integration into the value chain.
From 2016 to 2021, Visa’s Financial Education program reached more than 10 million rural people in China, with a focus on female leaders of rural co-ops. During 2020 and 2022, the Beijing 2022 & Women program supported by Visa China and other partners reached 9,754 registrations and empowered 6,254 female small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners. Mengdingshan Academy, a rural development center in Ya’an, Sichuan Province of China, has trained over 600 female leaders of rural co-ops. By working with a variety of partners, such initiatives serve as good examples that can inspire a broader audience of small-scale farmers.
In Ghana, the emphasis lies in equipping women with the necessary skills to pursue professional and leadership roles, particularly in STEM, ICT, e-commerce, and entrepreneurship. Through education and career development programs, women are empowered to acquire the skills needed to thrive in these sectors, thus enhancing their economic prospects.
The city of Buenos Aires recognizes the importance of an integrated care system and community services in fostering a sustainable community that advocates for women’s economic empowerment. This includes the provision of shelters, community centers, and justice centers, all of which play a crucial role in supporting women in their journey towards economic independence.
Empowering women economically not only benefits individuals but also contributes to the overall development and well-being of societies. Through events like this online exchange, the UNOSSC Cities Project aims to facilitate the sharing of experiences and knowledge and connect partners from the Global South to foster cooperation.
About South-South Cities Clusters
The UNOSSC Cities Project seeks to promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the city and local levels. The South-South Cities Clusters are part of the South-South Galaxy virtual platform that facilitates 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