Brussels, 24 March 2017/ ACP: The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the United Nations Agency for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) have declared their shared intentions for joint engagement and joint programming on women’s economic empowerment in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

This Joint Commitment to Action was formalized during a signing ceremony in the margins of a special workshop held in Brussels in the lead up to International Women’s Day, co-organised by the ACP Secretariat, UN Women, and the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). (Read final report from the workshop)

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as other key documents, the ACP Group and UN Women committed to cooperation in the following three areas:

  1. Women’s access to land and productive resources for climate resilient agriculture (including fisheries and livestock and alternative energy;
  2. Stimulating equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs through affirmative procurement, investments and supply chain policies; and
  3. Promoting women’s representation and entrepreneurship in the extractive industry sector.

Relevant actions and programs will be carried out under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) starting in 2017.

Recognizing that women’s economic empowerment is intrinsic to achieving the SDGs as well as poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth, the ACP Group and UN Women committed themselves to promoting climate smart agriculture, increasing women’s land tenure, while also boosting access to finance and capacity building.

They will also lobby for gender-responsive public and private procurement policies, and aim to break systemic gender disparities that hold back women entrepreneurs from capitalizing on national and international spending. The declaration targets support for these entrepreneurs to meet international trade standard, as well as tearing down barriers to women’s access to markets.

Finally, both organizations aim to enhance women’s agency and entrepreneurship in the extractive industries, by working with governments as well as the private sector to ensure the workforce is more inclusive.

The joint document was signed by ACP Assistant Secretary General in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou on behalf of the ACP Group, and Program Director Ms. Maria-Noel Vaeza on behalf of UN Women.

– Press ACP

(Photo by UN Women/ Alena Kern)

See also:

Final Report – AACP-CTA-UN Women consultation workshop on women’s economic empowerment: Leaving no one behind