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Call on Governments to bring down legal barriers for women’s economic empowerment

On the occasion of the international community’s adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP) is pleased to join over twenty leading business organizations, civil society organizations and UN agencies in calling on governments around the world to take action to remove barriers to women’s economic empowerment.

Women face legal barriers to economic empowerment in virtually all countries inhibiting the potential of women to participate effectively in the labour market and contribute fully to sustainable development. As the World Bank Group’s report Women, Business and the Law 2016 details, these include restrictions in access to jobs and finance and limitations on the rights of women to own and use property.

The Call to Action includes a spectrum of concrete actions that governments can take to help create an enabling environment for inclusive economic growth, such as enacting laws that promote a level playing field for men and women, establishing effective public institutions and supporting women’s entrepreneurship through public procurement. It also points to the need for all actors, including business, to implement strategies and policies that foster women’s economic empowerment and highlights the Business for the Rule of Law Framework, an initiative of the UN Global Compact, and the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women, as resources that can help Governments to engage businesses in achieving national priorities on governance and women’s empowerment.