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Over 1,000 Business Leaders from Around the World Commit to Advance Gender Equality by Supporting the Women’s Empowerment Principles

Posted on 06/25/2015
(New York, 25 June 2015) - UN Global Compact and UN Women are pleased to announce that over 1,000 business leaders from across the globe have expressed support for advancing equality between women and men by signing the CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). From 39 CEO Champions in June 2010 to over 1,000 CEOs today, the rapid growth of the initiative, representing over 67 countries and over 40 sectors, signals the strong business case for empowering women and mainstreaming gender throughout business operations and value chains. 
Governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders have also communicated their support for the WEPs, recognizing the Principles as an important framework for engaging the private sector in achieving gender equality. Most recently, 8 June 2015, in a Declaration issued at the conclusion of the 2015 G7 Summit, the heads of state and governments of the Group of Seven (G7) stated support for the WEPs and called on companies worldwide to integrate the 7 Principles into their activities. 
The WEPs, a partnership initiative of UN Global Compact and UN Women providing a comprehensive framework for business on how to empower women and mainstream gender in the workplace, marketplace and community, is gaining traction around the world. Global Compact Local Networks, in collaboration with UN Women local offices and other partners, play a critical role in driving uptake of the Principles. Recent efforts include a WEPs launch in Georgia, a reunion of WEPs signatories in Brazil to discuss good practices and challenges of implementation, a CEO signing ceremony in Kenya, and a WEPs reporting session in Japan.  
The continued expansion of the WEPs signatories, and the recognition and support of the WEPs initiative from diverse stakeholders, demonstrates that tackling gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, advancing sustainable development and driving business are essential pieces of the same puzzle. For women to reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to sustainable development, all actors which have different but equally as important roles to play, must step up and take action to eliminate the many barriers to women’s and girls’ empowerment. The WEPs initiative provides a unique opportunity to ensure that the business community is a key partner in achieving gender equality. 
Learn more about the Women’s Empowerment Principles 
Lauren Gula
Senior Manager, Social Sustainability & Women’s Empowerment
UN Global Compact