Gender Investment Promotion
Contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
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Gender Investments refer to a deliberate inclusion of gender factors into investment decisions and strategy in order to generate gender outputs/results. This includes but is not limited to investment in goods and services that help to improve and transform the lives of women and girls, investment in women-led and women-owned enterprises, and inclusion of women in investment decisions in organizations/companies making the investment decisions.
WADHI’s interest in promoting Gender Investments stems from her quest to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 5, 9 & 10 with a specific focus on Goal Five (5), ; achieving gender equality and all other SDGs goals mainstreamed along gender lines and contribution to the reduction of financial exclusion. The year 2020 should undoubtedly be a pivotal year for the accelerated realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls for two reasons:
- First, it marks the twenty fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995).
- Second, this year will make a five-year landmark milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
While there have been some gains there are also a disproportionate number of setbacks in both the struggle for gender equality particularly women’s empowerment and achieving the SDG’s. According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report published in December 2018, “At the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 108 years to close and economic gender parity will take 202 years to achieve” while women’s economic assets remain fallow and uncultivated. This is a grave concern as the world grapples with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 and there is immense opportunity to explore and harness women’s economic assets which has the estimated potential of adding $12trn to global growth and GDP by 2025 as a pathway in the post recovery era.
Private Sector Engagement in Achieving SDGs
Critical to achieving the SDGs and leaving no one behind is the role of Private Sector and businesses in accelerating progress by first engaging in responsible business practice and pursuing opportunities to solve societal challenges through innovation and collaboration at all levels geared at inclusive growth. Recognizing this, the UN Global Compact developed and spearheads “Key Principles for Businesses” including the Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) principles that provides a framework to guide business in achieving the SDG’s and gender quality. Since its launch in 2010, the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) initiative has been at the forefront of transforming business policies, practices and approaches to advance gender equality and create opportunities for women and girls, engaging more than 2,000 businesses globally to date. The Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment adopted in 2017 affirms the WEE and outlines the commitment to expanding market and economic opportunities for women.
- Nigeria’s population is estimated at over 200 million according to the World Population Review with female population estimated at almost 50% and fertility rate 5.34 births per woman (Macrotrends 1950-2020). If Nigeria must manage and maximize its growth, more women must be empowered to engage actively in economic activities.
- Lessons learnt from other climes have shown that investment in women-led businesses has generated more ROI than in their male counterparts’ businesses and is a catalyst for economic growth.
- There has been considerable improvement in awareness around the SDG’s and international treaties/policies on women; compliance with statutory obligations as well as collaboration and partnerships amongst stakeholders involved in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, a key challenge remains the understanding and implementation.
- With the establishment of a Technical Ministerial Committee on Private Sector Initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs there is a need to strategize and understand best practices that have proven effective in other countries with an aim to setting the pace for gender mainstreaming in private sector.
- Following the aftermath of the COVID 19 outbreak and the losses accrued, businesses will be looking for immediate opportunities that presents a win-win returns to plug into. It suffices to say that the best time to invest is now.
What WADHI is doing
- WADHI is continuously facilitating interaction between policy makers, business enablers and investors and providing business opportunities.
- We are building the capacity of oversight agencies at federal and state level to review existing regulatory legislation and frameworks, create the enabling environment for gender responsive investors and investment, develop and monitor guidelines for gender benchmarks for companies in Nigeria.
- We are contextualizing the SDG’s and WEE principles to the local realities ensuring a more robust engagement, mutually beneficial business relations and ultimately a better outcome for Nigeria.
Our Vehicle of Delivery
- The annual Gender Investment Forum.
- The “KOWGO” Indegenous Mobile Technology Application on Financial Inclusion
- Gender Investment Monthly Newsletter.
- Gender Investment Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).
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