Eleven private sector businesses in China awarded by UN Women and the EU for empowering women in business and strengthening leadership

Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

[Press release]

Participants taking a group photo at the 2021 International Conference on Gender Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and WEPs Awards Ceremony. Photo: UN Women/Liu Hansong

Beijing, China – Eleven Chinese businesses were granted Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards by UN Women China, in partnership with the EU Delegation to China. The award ceremony took place during the 2021 International Conference on Gender Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The WEPs Awards celebrate the efforts of private-sector companies in addressing gender inequalities in the new normal of a post COVID-19 world.

The conference discussed the power of businesses to enhance women’s full participation and leadership in economic life, identify key obstacles, explore solutions and share best practices. About 80 participants offline and around 500,000 participants online attended the conference supported by Rockcheck Puji Foundation and China Enterprise Confederation.

Private-sector leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society representatives along with EU and UN officials reviewed progress made in improving gender policies and discussed the future roadmap to integrate gender equality into company policies and external CSR programmes.

At the opening, Smriti Aryal, Head of UN Women China office, addressed that “there is unmissable opportunity to look at building a different economic modal that is supports women’s livelihoods and use the recovery to shape a more sustainable, just and equal world”. She also emphasized the tremendous opportunities to create decent jobs in strategic green sectors and bring women at the centre as well as the importance to build a robust mechanism for small and medium sized enterprises and workers especially in informal sector who are suffering higher level of shocks and vulnerabilities.

Smriti Aryal, Head of UN Women China office, speaks at the opening. Photo: UN Women/Liu Hansong

Ms. Mu Hong, Director-General of the liaison department of the All-China Women’s Federation, addressed that ““Effective actions taken by companies are needed to economically empower women, to provide equal opportunities for women, and to promote their participation in science and technology innovation, which are not only conducive to stimulating women's potential, but also to achieving more sustainable economic growth.”

Ms. Mu Hong, Director-General of the liaison department of the All-China Women’s Federation, speaks at the opening. Photo: UN Women/Liu Hansong

Mr. Nicolas Chapuis, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to China, reiterated the EU’s commitment towards gender equality and women empowerment in the workplace and pointed out how crucial it is to ensure that pandemic-related recovery measures are gender-sensitive to achieve greater equality in both paid and unpaid work.

Mr. Nicolas Chapuis, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to China, speaks at the opening. Photo: UN Women/Liu Hansong

In response to the heavy toll COVID-19 has taken on economy, employment and people's life, UN Women also launched the #SheBounceBack coffee table book to showcase role of women as first responders to COVID-19. Six female leaders from all walks of life shared their experience on women’s leadership on accelerating recovery and building resilience in a post COVID-19 world.

#SheBouncesBack Coffee Table Book launch at the 2021 CSR conference. Photo: UN Women/Liu Hansong

The awards presented to the 11 gender champions in China, recognize exemplary business practices for gender equality aligned to UN Women and UN Global Compact’s WEPs. These are a set of seven principles guiding businesses to become more gender-responsive across their value chain. To date, 265 companies in China have pledged action to advance the WEPs, and more than 5,600 globally.

WEPs winners and judges taking a group photo together. Photo: UN Women/Liu Hansong

WEPs Awards: The UN Women Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards recognizes exemplary company efforts for gender equality in a designated category, limited to a specific location and time period. UN Women does not endorse the awarded organizations.

The list of WEPs Awardees:

WEPs Awards: The UN Women Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards recognizes exemplary company efforts for gender equality in a designated category, limited to a specific location and time period. UN Women does not endorse the awarded organizations.

 

Media Inquiry

Zhao Wenting
Communication Officer, UN Women China
Tel +86(0)10 85325250
wenting.zhao@unwomen.org


About the co-organisers:

UN Women

UN Women is a global champion for gender equality. We work to create a world in which every woman and girl can exercise her rights and live up to her full potential. We are trusted partners for advocates and decision-makers from all walks of life, and a leader in the effort to achieve gender equality.

As the only UN entity dedicated entirely to gender equality and women’s empowerment, UN Women has a special role to play in advancing the global development agenda. Our ability to partner with and engage a range of actors across governments, civil society, the private sector, and media, truly sets us apart. Our triple mandate uniquely positions us to:

  • promote a coherent and coordinated approach across the UN system to enhance accountability and results for gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • support UN Member States to strengthen global norms and standards for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and to include a gender perspective when advancing other issues; and
  • undertake operational activities at the country and regional levels, including supporting Member States in developing and implementing gender-responsive laws, policies, and strategies.

Delegation of the European Union to China

The European Union is represented in China by the Delegation in Beijing. The Delegation was established in Beijing in October 1988.

The Delegation has full diplomatic privileges and immunities with the Head of Delegation accorded full ambassadorial status. The Delegation is responsible for the conduct of official relations between China and the European Union. In all matters pertaining to the European Union, the Delegation works closely with the diplomatic missions of the EU Member States. The Delegation is a natural point of contact between the EU and the Chinese authorities as well as others in China.