The global initiative to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” will highlight how the private sector can increase women’s participation in the economy. Stock exchanges from Sydney, Amman, Dhaka, to Yangon, Nairobi and New York are participating, ringing opening or closing bells to mark International Women’s Day 2017.
Now in its third year, the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event is a partnership of IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the UN Global Compact, UN Women, Women in ETFs, and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges.
The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. According to UN Women, women still predominantly occupy jobs that pay less and provide no benefits. They earn less than men, even as they shoulder the enormous—and economically essential—burden of unpaid care and domestic work.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, is working with local and international businesses to promote women’s economic empowerment as smart business in the Pacific. In PNG for example, IFC has established the Business Coalition for Women with 60 member businesses dedicated to realising the full potential of their high performing female staff through targeted leadership training, and other innovations such as a model policy and training program to help them retain and support staff affected by domestic violence.
“The demand from companies across the Pacific for these types of services has been very strong, demonstrating a clear acknowledgement of the strong business case for investing in women,” said Thomas Jacobs, IFC Country Manager for the Pacific.