Jawaher Al Qasimi: When half the human race is left behind, the entire world is placed at an economic disadvantage

Inclusive and equitable economic growth can only be possible with women’s economic empowerment, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), has stated ahead of the upcoming Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS 2019) in Sharjah.

Ensuring women’s full participation in the economy is vital to boosting economic growth and achieving the wider sustainable development goals (SDGs) outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda, Her Highness said, strongly calling upon organisations and individuals to actively engage in the second edition of WEEGS, to be held on December 10 – 11, at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) in Sharjah.

WEEGS is a platform that unites diverse voices and stakeholders championing the cause of gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, driving the creation and strengthening of partnerships, supporting progress, and finding effective and sustainable solutions for women’s economic inclusion, Sheikha Jawaher further added.

“Women’s realities are constantly changing,” said HH Sheikha Jawaher, adding that “Integrating women in the economic domain and investing in their development will create a ripple effect that will benefit not just individual women but families, communities and nations around the world.”

“Women are resourceful economic agents and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women is not merely a national or moral duty; it is a fundamental human right enshrined in the values of the United Nations, Her Highness asserted.

Fulfillment of Agenda 2030 means leaving no one behind

“The fight for gender equity is a shared, global concern,” said HH Sheikha Jawaher. “A key challenge to women’s economic empowerment is biased provisions often embedded in legal frameworks and policies. By advancing the public debate on gender equity, events like WEEGS can help create an enabling environment and catalyse governments, communities and legal institutions into action to frame egalitarian provisions to ensure women’s participation in the real economy.”

However, to bridge gender gaps in legislation and on the ground, the onus is on communities to consciously attempt to let go of discriminatory attitudes and mindsets, and to usher in a society that guarantees the social and economic empowerment of women, Her Highness added.

Integrated and multidimensional approaches in women’s advancement are vital to providing solutions to some of the unique challenges constraining women’s empowerment globally. “Social and economic empowerment aspects should be demarcated for women not only keeping in mind that they are – and must be – part of the labour market, but also valuable members of community with rights and duties on par with men,” pointed out HH Sheikha Jawaher. “Increasing sustainable livelihoods of women is also a tool to advance social development, as it leads to reduction in poverty, better health conditions, higher education rates, and builds more inclusive societies by promoting social harmony.”