COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, devastating impacts on the lives, livelihoods and learning of millions of people, particularly the most vulnerable. While efforts have rightly focused on mitigating the immediate impacts, we need to start thinking about efforts to recover and rebuild, because action taken now will have long-lasting effects on people's well-being and resilience.
The pandemic has exacerbated deep inequalities and fragilities in the current system that have always been there. We as a community have the opportunity and the responsibility to act now to build a better future.
The Business Fights Poverty Virtual Summit Series builds on the success and experience of our recent online conferences, Business Fights Poverty Online 2020 and Business Fights Poverty NYC 2020, to dig deeper into a specific issue over the course of a day.
In partnership with CDC Group, The 2X Challenge, UN Women and CARE International, the next Business Fights Poverty Virtual Summit on 3 December will focus on gender.
Timed to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, the first of three webinars will focus on the actions companies can take in response to the increase in gender-based violence witnessed during the COVID pandemic, including in the workplace; and consider the role of new international regulation in the form of the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention (C190).
Hosted in partnership with UN Women, we will then hold a session on strengthening women’s economic empowerment, which will give you the chance to hear the voices of women entrepreneurs and learn about how you can get involved in UN Women initiatives to support gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in Europe and Central Asia.
A third webinar will focus on gender-lens investing. Despite the ever increasing business case for improved gender equality and diversity in the workplace, COVID-19 has set back progress, with widening gender pay gaps, job loss and increasing caring responsibilities for women. The case for gender-lens investing is therefore even more urgent. We will explore current thinking on the latest tools from CDC Group and 2X Challenge. Experts will share practical advice for investors and businesses.
Participants will come away with fresh insights, new peer relationships and the opportunity to engage in collaborative action.
1.00 - 1.30 PM GMT
Welcome by Zahid and Yvette Torres-Rahman, Founders, Business Fights Poverty
Followed by a Fireside Chat with Nick O'Donohoe, CEO, CDC Group
1.30 - 2.30 PM GMT
What is business’ role in responding to the surge in gender-based violence during the pandemic?
Hosted with CDC Group and CARE International UK
Timed to coincide with the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the first of two live webinars will focus on the actions companies can take to tackle increased GBV witnessed during the COVID pandemic, including in the workplace and support the implementation of the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (C190). This session will explore how investors and businesses can tackle GBV in the workplace, directly through their own actions across their core business, and indirectly through their policy advocacy.
Join this session to:
Deepen your understanding of the latest policy developments, including the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (C190) and the Generation Equality Action Coalition on GBV, to help shape your business response and advocacy messaging.
Learn about the latest tools to tackle GBV in the workplace, from CDC, CARE, Business Fights Poverty and others
Natalie Deacon, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, President, Avon Foundation for Women
Nomsa Fulbrook-Kagwe, ESG Impact Executive, CDC Group
Joe Sutcliffe, Senior Adviser, Dignified Work, Care International
Lindsey Block, Head of Partnerships and Capacity Building, Primark
Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and CEO, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)
2.30 - 3.30 PM GMT
Women's Entrepreneurship Showcase
Hosted with UN Women
An opportunity to hear the voices of women entrepreneurs and learn about how you can get involved in a UN Women initiative to support gender equality and women’s empowerment in Europe and Central Asia. Join in order to:
To join UN Women’s call to actions to support women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, visit here
Alia El-Yassir, Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, UN Women
Blerta Cela, Deputy Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, UN Women
Maya Kobalia, Head of Environmental and Social Division, Crystal MFO
Nadriye Özmez and Selma Fakı, members of SADA Women’s Cooperative
Mirandukht Davituliani, Guesthouse Garemo owner
Keto Ninidze, Winemaker, Ode Wines
3.30 - 4.30 PM GMT
What is the case for gender-lens investing, and how to do it?
Hosted with CDC Group and The 2X Challenge
Despite the ever increasing business case for improved gender equality and diversity in the workplace, COVID-19 has set back progress, with widening gender pay gaps, job loss and increasing caring responsibilities for women. The case for gender-lens investing is therefore even more urgent. We will explore current thinking on the latest tools from CDC Group and 2X Challenge. Experts will share practical advice for investors and other businesses.
Join this session to:
Hear about the latest thinking on the case for gender-lens investing.
Learn about the latest tools from CDC Group and the 2X Challenge
Deepen your understanding of what role investors and other businesses can play, and get practical advice on how to overcome challenges.
Jen Braswell, Director, Value Creation and Gender Finance, CDC Group
Stephanie Doig, Compliance Director, Miro Forestry
Jessica Espinoza, Global Gender Finance Lead, DEG and Chair, 2X Challenge
Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Partner, Alitheia Capital
Anne-Marie Lévesque, Head of Gender and Impact, FinDev Canada
Katie Hyson, Director, Thought Leadership, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)
4.30 - 5.30 PM GMT
BREAKOUT DISCUSSIONS (PLACES LIMITED)
An opportunity for peer discussion and networking. To ensure an interactive discussion, places are limited and available on first-come-first-serve basis.
Moderated by Yvette Torres-Rahman, CFO, Business Fights Poverty
VIDEO SEMINAR: Why Should Companies Have Programmes to Develop Women Leaders?
Watch this video seminar by Vasanthi Srinivasan, Professor, Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. Available from from 1pm on 3 Dec.
VIDEO SEMINAR: Why is the Pandemic Disproportionately Affecting Women Entrepreneurs?
Watch this video seminar by Ute Stephan,Professor of Entrepreneurship, King’s Business School, King’s College London. Available from from 1pm on 3 Dec.
TOOLKIT: Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘stay at home’ regulations, domestic violence and online bullying and harassment are expected to rise. What can companies do to support employees internally? What can they do to harness their core business strategies including marketing and innovation as well as philanthropy to respond to the increase in violence?
TOOLKIT: How Business Can Tackle Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work
This Toolkit provides a five step framework to help business tackle Gender Based Violence in the world of work. It includes top tips, a BSR Diagnostic tool and case studies illustrating how companies are starting to tackle this complex issue.
TOOLKIT: Gender Equality is Everyone's Business
This report illustrates why, where and how companies can engage men as allies to advance gender equality across their value chains. Whilst efforts to engage men as allies are relatively nascent, this report highlights examples of how companies are taking action including in supply chains, workplaces and through advertising. The report provides business leaders with insights and guidance to take action to engage men as allies at three mutually reinforcing levels: Individual, Organizational and Societal.
VIDEO: How Can Companies Ensure Gender Equality Through Value Chains
This "How-To" video with Stephanie Barrientos, Chair at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, explores how companies can ensure gender equality through value chains.
VIDEO: Exploring the Complexity of Gender Inequality in 2020
As part of Business Fights Poverty Online 2020, we hosted a session with CARE International UK that explored some of the complexities of gender inequality. Speakers included Sandra Fontano, Unilever; Ashika Gunasena, Chrysalis; Esther Kwaku, The Nerve Network, Hester Le Roux, CARE International UK, and Hayley Morgan, Better Cotton Initiative.
In partnership with IFC, CDC has published a new Guide for investors to help strengthen gender diversity and incorporate a gender lens into the investment process. The Guide introduces a framework to support fund managers to adopt gender-smart solutions across their own firms and at a portfolio level. Throughout the Guide we have provided explanations about why these steps are important as well as practical frameworks, checklists and tips to put these steps into action.
This free-to-use toolkit from CDC Group is aimed at private equity fund managers in emerging markets. The Toolkit aims to be both a practical building block for the development of a customised ESG management system, and an easy-to-use reference guide for assessing and managing ESG risks, impacts and opportunities.
Women are often excluded from financial markets and are limited in their economic and social potential. The “2X Challenge” will help to address these issues by investing 3 billion dollars in projects and companies that improve women’s access to leadership positions, offer women quality employment and provide specific products or services that empower women. Watch this video by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched SheInvest, a new initiative to boost gender equality and female economic empowerment. The aim is to mobilise EUR 1 billion of investment that can benefit millions of women across Africa with better access to finance and by making sustainable infrastructure services and products work for them.
This guidance note seeks to inform private sector companies about how to recover resiliently and inclusively from the effects of COVID-19, while considering the gender gap between women and men in their companies' operations. The publication recommends six actions the private sector can implement to ensure that both women and men can return to economic activities during and after the pandemic, and participate equally as leaders, employees, business owners, and consumers. These recommendations are based on data collected from IFC surveys and interviews conducted with a total of 715 companies in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia Pacific; the World Bank’s COVID-19 surveys; and research from other leading organizations.
IFC’s and We-Fi’s support to Sarmayacar led to the development of a strategy using the principles of gender-lens investing. The combined strategy was designed to reach clear, established outcomes and measurable gender-related goals for Sarmayacar. Learn more about this case study.
A new joint IFC – FMO report includes a study of 34 banks globally and found that those integrating non-financial services (information, training, mentoring, networking and business management technology) into a Women SME value proposition are seeing a positive return on investment within one to two years. Watch this video to learn how.
Women want to earn income as equals. But they face many barriers in the workplace and at home. These can be issues they face at work, such as unequal working conditions, and challenges outside of the ‘workplace’, including in their homes, in their communities, and during their commute. From domestic workers to those employed in the garment industry, learn about CARE's work around the globe to ensure women can access dignified work opportunities.
Global media has shown that sexual harassment can take place in any industry. The garment supply chain is no exception. The situation can change if women and men, workers and employers, join together to create work cultures of respect, where harassment is not tolerated. Around the world, this shift is starting to take place—and the garment industry can play an important role. Learn about how garment factory managers in Asia are taking action to make women feel safer at work.
CARE works with factory managers in Cambodia to create effective ways of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Learn more about how this is making workers feel safer and creating positive benefits for employers.
Sexual harassment adversely impacts people and business, it results in significant physical and mental health consequences, costs to business operations, and can affect all employees in the workplace. This rapid review seeks to gain and share insight on promising global approaches to addressing harassment in the workplace. It is hoped that robust evidence of what works to address this sensitive and pervasive issue will guide the practice, and accountability of employers to workplace health and safety.
This report presents the findings of a large-scale, nationally representative survey of sexual harassment in the Cambodian garment industry. Based on quantitative and qualitative survey data, the study examines the harmful negative effects of sexual harassment in the workplace and estimates the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Cambodian garment industry; and the annual cost of productivity lost to the garment industry due to sexual harassment.
This CARE policy brief explores the unique factors of the COVID-19 pandemic that increase the risk of gender-based violence for girls and women, particularly in crisis-affected settings. The brief considers the implications for humanitarian and development programming, and makes recommendations for donors, policy-makers, and implementing organisations to prioritise GBV prevention, response, and risk mitigation approaches as essential parts of COVID-19-related programming.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have undoubtedly been, and continue to be, terrible for individuals, communities, and countries. Yet the crisis provides the world with a unique opportunity, an opportunity to build forward rather than back. The purpose of this report is to highlight how best this can be done, via a holistic approach to economic, climate and humanitarian policies, and by putting women and girls at the centre of recovery and reform. The report recommends that all actors must prioritise gender equity throughout their strategies for economic and financial recovery, environmental policies and humanitarian response. This means including women and girls in decision-making at all levels, shifting focus towards policies and measures that prioritise women and girls and strengthen gender equity, and engaging in organisational culture change that deconstructs harmful power structures and elevates and empowers women.
This in-depth research report reveals differing perspectives between women and men when it comes to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In a first of its kind data collection, CARE surveyed more than 10,000 people, including 6,200 women and 4,000 men in more than 40 countries. The report reveals three major areas in which women are more negatively experiencing COVID-19: unemployment, lack of food, and a toll on their mental health.
The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (25 November to 10 December 2020). UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign is amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
The pandemic has interrupted progress on gender equality, but it can be brought back on course. This year’s edition of “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot” brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, underscoring the progress made, but also the progress interrupted as a result of COVID-19.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking working hours, increased care burdens, and heightened violence have exacerbated the challenges that women and girls face. Unless action is taken, by 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty, including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19. This publication presents the latest evidence on the multiple impacts of the pandemic on women and girls.
Nadirye Özmez is a member of the SADA Women’s Cooperative which has been established by Syrian, Turkish and Afghani women in March 2019. Nadirye is one of the beneficiaries of UN Women’s SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center, which is co-financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan. Set up by the women of the SADA Center, the cooperative is active in Gaziantep province, southeast Turkey. Nadirye talks about her own experience at the SADA Center and the Cooperative.
“Thanks to SADA, I discovered my talents and improved my skills. I am learning together with my Turkish, Syrian and Afghani friends,” says Ümmühan Gül. Ümmühan was enrolled in vocational training at UN Women’s SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center co-financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan, located in Gaziantep, southeast Turkey. Together with her friends from the center, they set up a Cooperative, which enables them to generate income. Watch Ümmühan’s story.
"SADA Women’s Center supported me and opened new paths in my new life. We established SADA Women’s Cooperative with Turkish, Syrian and Afghani friends together. There are no managers here, we are all each other’s managers,’ says Zukaa. Zukaa Neccar is a beneficiary of UN Women’s SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan. Watch Zukaa’s story.
Berivan Atilgan is one of the women who enhanced their employability skills thanks to a UN Women project entitled “Social and Economic Stabilization of Refugee Women and Adolescent Girls in Turkey,” which is funded by the Government of Japan and implemented in partnership with the GAP Administration and the Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants.
Emine Yavuz is one of the women who attended digital skills training courses at Multi-Purpose Community Center run by the Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration. Supported by a UN Women project funded by the Government of Japan, the Centre offers vocational training courses including non-traditional skills such as coding and computer literacy and promotes social cohesion and dialogue between Turkish and Syrian women. Emine explains how the Centre helped her stand on her own feet, despite many challenges.
Why is the implementation of Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) essential? Georgian business companies share their experience about WEPs. Promoting and implementing WEPs is one of UN Women’s most important mandate to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through the project “A joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, funded by the Government of Norway.
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We are a global community of purpose-driven people and organisations passionate about building an equitable and resilient future. We believe in the power of business to tackle systemic challenges and create social impact for people and planet.
Through purposeful collaboration, we work to help improve the lives, livelihoods and learning opportunities for the most vulnerable people and communities. We are all interconnected and any system-level change will require us to unite across traditional divides, and come together in fresh and creative ways.
Join us. We are Business Fights Poverty.