From Generation Equality to the Future of Work: Joint Effort on Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Work Place


Photo: UN Women/ Tian Liming

Imagine a world where all people have equal rights and opportunities. Women and men get equal pay for work of equal value and share the care work at home. People can enjoy a family friendly environment with decent work. To make it happen, we need joint effort. 

As part of UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign to accelerate gender equality actions and mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Women China Office and the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia jointly organized ILO-UN Women Conference on Gender Equality and the Future of Work to take stock of the progress made over the past decades and explore ways forward on creating an equal and safe future of work for women, on September23-24 in Beijing. 

Photo: UN Women/ Tian Liming

The two days’ conference has brought over 70 participants from government agencies, women’s organizations, academia, UN agencies, private sectors and other relevant stakeholders in China together to review the progress, challenges, opportunities and effective approaches to advance a human-centered agenda to the future of work through accelerating efforts on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Ms. Smriti Aryal, head of UN Women China Office mentioned in her opening speech, “In China, women have made incredible social and economic progress over the past two decades. According to a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, Chinese women with the highest female labor participation rate in the Asia Pacific, contribute to 41 percent of the nation's GDP. However, despite women’s significant contribution to the economic growth, the benefits have not been evenly shared. On average, women globally spend 2.6 times more on unpaid care and domestic work per day than men, which have an impact on women for better enjoying an equal employment and career development opportunity.” 

The conference aims to bring different partners at all levels to work together to address deeply rooted gender and social norms so that, men and women equally share the care work; facilitate greater support to women through family and women friendly work place policies and standards for employment continuity and career advancement. The discussion focused on 5 sessions: 1) The overall review of the progress and challenges on gender equality and the future of work 2) Equal opportunities and treatment in the work place; 3) Equal pay and women’s economic empowerment 4) Balancing work and family responsibilities 5) Elimination of violence and harassment in the work place. 

Ms. Sally Barber, Programme Coordinator from UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific also shared the recent discoveries from UN Women’s annual flagship report Progress of the World’s Women 2019–2020: Families in a Changing World provided insight and reflections on Women, Family and the Future of Work in the region. 

Photo: UN Women/ Tian Liming

As the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, UN Women promotes women’s economic empowerment, including gender equality in the workplace, as one of its key priorities in China, and globally. With 2020 approaching as the 25+ anniversary of Beijing Platform for Action, UN Women stands ready to strengthen collaboration with the Government of China and work with all partners to support China towards the last-mile in the achievement of SDGs and to share China’s remarkable success with rest of world through south-south collaboration, learning and sharing. As the background of the conference, this year also marks the ILO’s 100-year anniversary as well as the UN 40 years’ presence in China.

Please click to see the analytical report of this conference in both English and Chinese.