UN Women Jordan launches WEPs Network

UN Women Representative in Jordan Ziad Sheikh speaks at a UN Women Jordan event on January 5, 2022. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — UN Women Jordan on Wednesday launched the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Jordan Network, to enhance the role of the private sector in promoting and advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE), according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

The WEPs Jordan Network launch was attended by over 100 key stakeholders, including the Social Security Investment Fund, Amman Stock Exchange, Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), International Finance Corporation, Mashreq Gender Facility, Ministry of Labor, Jordan Chamber of Commerce and Jordan Chamber of Industry, International Labor Organization, UN Global Compact (UNGC), and WEPs signatory companies from Jordan, among other partners.

The WEPs are a set of seven principles established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women in 2010, offering guidance to businesses on how to promote GEWE in the workplace, marketplace, and community. The WEPs are informed by international labor and human rights standards and grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and a responsibility for, GEWE. Companies (private, public, state-owned, and cooperatives) of any size and industry established under national law, business and industry associations, chambers and stock exchanges can sign the WEPs and join the WEPs community to make a public statement and commitment to GEWE.

The WEPs platform is used to mobilize business action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a vehicle for corporate delivery on the gender equality dimensions of the 2030 Agenda. The WEPs are aligned with the 17 SDGs, whose targets are connected to each of the seven WEPs.

During his opening remarks in the launch event, Ziad Sheikh, UN Women representative in Jordan, said: "Inclusive work environments benefit both employers and employees, women, and men alike, by boosting productivity, expanding market opportunities, and creating real benefits for the economy in the workplace, marketplace and the community. We welcome the commitment of WEPs signatories to catalyze change and promote women’s empowerment through the WEPs community"

Following that, Samer Al Madhoun, UNGC Jordan board member, talked about the UNGC-UN Women partnership for WEPs. Then, Salma Al-Nims, JNCW secretary-general, highlighted Jordan’s national gender equality commitments and the important role of the private sector in their achievement.

The WEPs also represent a framework for dialogue and action to advance GEWE with other partners and stakeholders, like civil society, not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations, international organizations, academia, governments, and individuals that are welcome to join as allies to advocate for and embrace GEWE.

The WEPs platform currently includes more than 5,700 signatories globally from around the world, 74 of which are based in Jordan. The WEPs Jordan Network gathers like-minded WEPs signatories from Jordan to work together towards a related and mutually agreed theme. In a workshop following the launch event, WEPs Jordan Network members voted for the 2022 themes, opting to focus on leadership as well as the workplace. Leadership addresses issues related to principle 1, corporate leadership for gender equality, and the workplace addresses issues related to principle 2, non-discrimination in the workplace, and principle 3, employee health and safety in the workplace.

The WEPs Jordan Network aims to increase both national ownership and sustainability of the WEPs by creating a gender-sensitive ecosystem of companies that drive the gender equality agenda forward throughout the value chain. It seeks to: engage change-makers in like-minded companies and stakeholders with similar values; exchange knowledge and experiences with GEWE; identify and benchmark best practices and new business trends; build and strengthen business connections and supply chains; access untapped opportunities, acquire new business leads and foster business practices that empower women; identify mutual interests and work towards a common purpose; set norms for the private sector; and invest in the future by contributing to creating an equitable world and removing barriers.

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