The European Union (EU) and UN Women jointly launched today a 3-year WeEmpower Asia programme to encourage the private sector to expand economic participation and business opportunities for women in seven Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.


Funded by the EU, UN Women will implement the €8 million programme aiming to integrate gender concerns into business practices in the region. WeEmpower Asia will promote dialogue among women’s groups and the public and private sector so as to enable a business environment that empowers women; provide skills training for female entrepreneurs to engage with businesses, policy-makers and decision-makers; and support companies to adopt the Women’s Empowerment Principles.


"Women’s economic empowerment is a pre-requisite for inclusive and equitable economic growth. It can drive gender equality outcomes and broader intergenerational benefits for women, their children, households and communities. Women who are economically empowered have greater access to income and economic assets, better control over their own economic gains and more equitable decision-making power to translate these gains into social, economic, and health benefits for themselves, their families and their societies,” stated Ambassador Mara Marinaki, EU Principal Advisor on Gender.


Anna-Karin Jatfors, UN Women’s acting Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, said: “Women make crucial contributions to the region’s economies. WeEmpower Asia will create transformative partnerships between private sector companies, female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses, and policymakers to drive social change. It will benefit not only women, but also societies and economies as a whole.”


The EU and UN Women have already joined hands working closely on women's economic empowerment in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as at G7 level under two other programmes that are being implemented simultaneously: Win-Win — Gender equality means good businessand WeEmpower — Promoting economic empowerment of women at work through responsible business conduct. These programmes and WeEmpower Asia launched today are concrete examples of EU's commitment to gender equality and respond to an increasingly global movement that urges companies, suppliers and consumers to work together to strengthen the voice and participation of women at work.