At this forum, held by ILO and the African Development Bank (AfDB), participants discussed challenges and opportunities to promote women-owned enterprises as a response to the financial and economic crisis. The event was part of the implementation framework of the Global Jobs Pact, and was in preparation for the First African Decent Work Symposium on Recovering from the Crisis, to be held 30 November to 1 December in Ouagadougou.
When addressing the forum Jane Hodges, GENDER Director, noted that the Conclusions of the Committee on Gender Equality – which met during the 2009 International Labour Conference in Geneva – had been particularly cognisant of the impact of the global economic crisis on working women and men. The Committee’s Conclusions stated that crises should not lead to greater gender inequality or undermine women’s acquired rights. She emphasized the importance of fostering women’s entrepreneurship as a key means to generate employment, which offers opportunities for social and economic empowerment of women and their families.
The forum adopted a Platform for Action for the Development of Women Entrepreneurship in Africa which includes a call for establishing relevant institutional and legal frameworks – to be developed in close consultation with workers’ and employers’ organizations – in order to further promote women’s entrepreneurship development and gender equality.
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