International Women’s Day
Equality Means Business
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015
On the occasion of the 105th International Women’s Day, on 8 March 2015, in a joint event titled ‘Equality means Business’ organized by UN Women and Non Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), four CEOs of private sector companies associated with the NRNA signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The four companies to sign the Principles and pledge their commitment to empower women in their respective companies were MIT Groups Holdings Nepal (MIT Group), Total Business Institute (TBi) Group Nepal, Best Remit and London Fashion House.
The Women's Empowerment Principles are a set of principles that offer practical guidance to businesses on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. Adapted from the Calvert Women’s Principles, the Principles are a global joint initiative of UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact. With over 8,000 business participants and other stakeholders involved in more than 135 countries, the Principles are the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative.
“One of the critical areas of concern that the Beijing Platform for Action focuses on is ‘women and the economy’. We know from global experience and evidence that empowering women to participate fully in economic life, across all sectors is crucial for creating strong economies and healthy societies, improving the quality of life not only for women, but also for men, families and communities. It can help businesses with their operations, and has a definitive role to play in countries’ progress towards achieving sustainable development. However, we also know that intentional actions, and deliberate policies are required to ensure that women’s potential as economic actors is harnessed in a manner that respects and advances women’s rights in the workplace and the economy more broadly”, said Ms. Gitanjali Singh, Head of Office AD Interim, UN Women.
“UN Women and the NRNA stress that economic empowerment of women is essential to protecting their rights and to strengthening their countries’ progress and economic development. Based on this vision, UN Women and the NRNA have committed to work together to promote the rights and interests of Nepali women residing outside and within Nepal. The aim of this work is to improve the understanding of what the growing Nepali diaspora can do to support the country in its path towards equality of women and men”, said Mr. Shesh Ghale, President, NRNA.
Acknowledging the key role that private sector can play in women’s economic empowerment, the CEOs of the companies signing the Principles pledged their commitment to particular targets. As the CEO of MIT Group, Mr. Ghale pledged “to employ more women in my upcoming company and to provide them with equal opportunities so that they can best use their significant knowledge, skills and remittances to support their families and communities. I will support and join hands with UN Women to motivate other private sector actors through sustained dialogue.” Mr. Shisheer Bhatta, CEO of TBi Group Nepal, stated: “I am committed to increase women’s participation by 30 percent from the current 20 percent by the end of 2016. Women already represent 50 percent of my staff in about 100 restaurants in Japan, and I will gradually explore possibilities to train and promote them for higher positions. I will also allocate a page for women’s economic empowerment in my newspaper Karobar.” Ms. Manisha Shrestha Dangol, CEO of London Fashion House, pledged that by the end of 2016 her company will ensure that at least 50 percent of women will be involved in tailoring and embroidering work that is usually done by men. Similarly, Mr. Anil Karna, CEO of Best Remit, pledged that by the end of 2015 women would represent 50 percent of staff from the current 38% at the company. He promised that his company will introduce zero tolerance of sexual harassment, and adopt a sexual harassment policy. He also added: “Our company will award Nrs.100,000 to journalists each year for covering issues on how remittances are best used in productive businesses that contributes to improved livelihood.”
Communications and Partnership Officer
UN Women Nepal Country Office
About Global Impact
Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses committed to embrace universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and partner with the United Nations
About UN Women
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information: asiapacific.unwomen.org