-- Top global leaders join campaign to advance gender equality
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At the World Economic Forum in Davos today, UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to achieving gender equality and women's empowerment unveiled the HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 pilot initiative to galvanize momentum in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment. The HeForShe campaign's IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative is a one-year pilot effort that aims to engage governments, corporations and universities as instruments of change positioned within some of the communities that most need to address deficiencies in women's empowerment and gender equality and that have the greatest capacity to make and influence those changes. Each sector will identify approaches for addressing gender inequality, and pilot test the effectiveness of these interventions for scalability.
The initiative was launched at a press conference attended by H.E President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; H.E. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson; and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.
At the press conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that "HeForShe has signed up fathers who want to raise empowered daughters; leaders who know their societies will be stronger when there are as many women in parliament and in business as men; and ordinary people who are fed up with violence and discrimination against women – and want to be part of a global force for change." He also underlined the alliances the campaign is building. "This is a partnership campaign involving individuals and corporations, government leaders and grass-roots activists, great celebrities and global citizens. HeForShe is the United Nations in your countries and communities," he added.
At the launch, the inaugural global leaders who will serve as IMPACT 10X10X10 founding Champions were announced. They will steer the initiative, providing leadership in mobilizing their communities and include: H.E. Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands; H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone; H.E. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden; Mr. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Rick Goings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tupperware Brands Corporation; and Dennis Nally, Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. JPMorgan Chase is also proud to be a Title Sponsor of the HeForShe campaign.
"The groundswell of response we have received in support for HeForShe tells us we are tapping into what the world wants: to be a part of change. Now we have to channel that energy into purposeful action. The pilot initiative provides that framework. Next we need all country leadership, as well as that of hundreds of universities and corporations to follow HeForShe's IMPACT 10X10X10 so as to bring an end to the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally," said Emma Watson, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador.
IMPACT 10X10X10 prioritizes legislative bodies and corporations in view of the gender inequality that exists in these areas, confirmed by findings from the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2014. The report highlights a large current gap between men and women in terms of political engagement and opportunity and little improvement in equality for women in the workplace since 2006. Universities join the impact trio because youth engagement represents one of the greatest opportunities for accelerating progress toward the achievement of gender equality, and ending violence against women.
"HeForShe exemplifies UN Women's groundbreaking leadership on gender equality. We know where change is proving hardest. The HeForShe IMPACT Initiative puts responsibility for change right where it matters- and spotlights leaders who can make it happen. The founding Champions from industry and government will pave the way for others to join in, using the pilot initiatives to streamline decision-making on relevant and successful activities," stated UN Women Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. "Ultimately we need everyone to get involved if we are to turn the tide."
In the months following the kick-off of the campaign by acclaimed actor Emma Watson in September last year in her capacity as UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, several Heads of States, along with celebrities and thousands of men from around the world, have committed to be champions for the HeForShe campaign. To date, more than 200,000 men and boys have signed their commitment to gender equality through the "HeForShe Commitments API" (a geo-located website app allowing men to register and visualize the real-time number of men activated on the map globally). In addition, HeForShe has reached more than 1.2 billion people on social media.
Quotes from founding Champions of IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative:
President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma: "I know inclusion of women is a key driver to sustainable development. I am proud to join UN Women as an IMPACT Champion for gender equality and I encourage all men and boys to join me by pledging their commitment to the HeForShe campaign. The women I have appointed in my Government continue to prove my vision and conviction that including women makes better economic sense. I will strive to see gender equality fully realized in Sierra Leone, across the African continent and indeed in the world at large."
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden: "I am honoured to enrol as an IMPACT Champion World Leader in the HeForShe campaign. I look forward to challenge more men and boys to get involved in advancing gender equality. I encourage men and boys to become a HeForShe, and pledge their commitment to gender equality. Sweden is a reliable partner in the global efforts to achieve gender equality. I am proud that we are a top contributor to UN Women. The Government I lead will continue growing Sweden's commitment to gender equality. Gender equality is right and smart. We all benefit from gender equal societies. That is why men and boys, all over the world, should become active agents of change."
Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands: Gender equality is not a "women's issue". Participation of women in all areas - in social, political as well as economic areas- is extremely important for welfare and wellbeing of societies as a whole. With full access of women to the labour force, the society at large can contribute from their creative potential, their skills, their entrepreneurship. Overnight the capacity of our societies increases tremendously! When women are excluded or hampered to participate, the capability to innovate, reform and adapt of societies is unnecessarily limited.
Men are and should be allies in this regard; in their capacity of managers, teachers, partners, fathers and brothers. I am ready to make my contribution and I count on all of you to join the HeForShe campaign."
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever: "I am delighted to be a HeForShe IMPACT Champion. I am personally passionate about this campaign, which is in line with Unilever's ambition to empower 5 million women by 2020. As part of our commitment to HeForShe IMPACT, we are promoting women's rights, embedding the Women's Empowerment Principles and creating concrete initiatives with UN Women on gender equality, skills building and job opportunities. I will continue to use my voice across the business to encourage our male employees, as well as sons, husbands, brothers and fathers to pledge their support and take action. Together we can accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality."
Dennis Nally, Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd: "PwC is proud to partner with UN Women as an IMPACT 10X10X10 founding Champion. The HeForShe initiative fits perfectly with PwC's long-standing goal of helping our male colleagues - from university students to senior leadership - to see why women's empowerment has a positive effect for all, and giving them the practical tools to act as champions of change. As part of PwC's impact commitment, I will be signing the CEO Statement of Support to the UN Women's Empowerment Principles. We will also be engaging hundreds of thousands of PwC and external men in the HeForShe movement through our global Aspire to Lead webcast on 27 February and implementing a HeForShe communications strategy that tightly aligns with the nine actions to further engage PwC men and to encourage our clients, families, and communities to sign on."
Rick Goings, Chairman & CEO Tupperware Brands: "I am thrilled to stand in solidarity with women and men around the world as a HeForShe impact champion. As part of our impact commitment we will be conducting a company audit based on Principle 7 of the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs). We are implementing an engagement strategy to instigate support from our nearly 3 million strong global salesforce and the men in the extended Tupperware Brands family to sign on to the HeForShe movement. We will strive to identify additional ways of bringing this pledge to life to increase our already robust commitment to women's equality through our partnership with UN Women."
UN Women is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org. UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.
HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls upon men and boys to stand up against the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally. The campaign strengthens the support for women's rights as human rights by enlisting the support of men and exhorting them to put themselves forward as advocates for gender equality. For more information, visit http://www.heforshe.org/
Mariam Salzman, Havas PR
SOURCE UN Women