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Women entrepreneurs have always faced multiple challenges—from lack of working capital to difficulties in coordination of their businesses due to their care and domestic responsibilities. These obstacles have only increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 70% of women entrepreneurs reported being ineligible for credit under the recently launched Government of India’s AtmaNirbhar Bharat economic stimulus package.
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In 2010, UN Women and UN Global Compact Network developed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Forged through an international multi-stakeholder consultative process, the WEPs provide a “gender lens” through which business can analyse current initiatives, benchmarks and reporting practices. Informed by real-life business practices, the Principles help companies tailor existing policies and practices – or establish needed new ones – to realize women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and communities.
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During his first visit to Afghanistan from 4-7 October, UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra met with several national and international officials as well as civil society representatives to discuss advancing women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality in Afghanistan. As preparations for international troop withdrawal next year and national elections accelerate, he emphasized the need for greater political and economic empowerment of Afghan women while safeguarding existing gains in women’s rights.