Empowering women within the company: GIZ signs Women’s Empowerment Principles

More than 860 well-known companies around the world have already signed the Principles.

Bonn. Women still interrupt their careers more frequently than men and for longer periods. Many work only part time in order to give them time to bring up children or care for elderly or sick family members. Women earn less than men and it is much rarer to find them at the top of the career ladder. And women run a far greater risk of spending the last years of their lives in poverty. ‘Women and men must at last have equal development opportunities in working life. It is not only a question of what is fair. It is vital if our economy and our society are to develop sustainably,’ said Karin Nordmeyer, President of UN Women’s German National Committee.

In Germany the UN Women National Committee works specifically to empower women at the workplace by disseminating the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) devised by UN Women and the UN Global Compact. They set out seven fundamental principles to empower women at the workplace – more than 860 well-known companies around the world have already signed the Principles, demonstrating their intention to integrate principles such as equal opportunities and non-discrimination, and to realise these inside the company. This can involve, for instance, paying the same salaries and bonuses for the same work. In Germany eight companies have signed so far, including Daimler.

For years these have also been the objectives of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The signing of the WEPs by Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board, underscores GIZ’s commitment to gender equality. Currently women account for more than half of GIZ’s entire workforce. The number of women in managerial posts has been consistently rising for years, and stood at about 37 per cent in 2014. The four-strong GIZ Management Board has, since mid-2012, consisted of two men and two women.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. It supports the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. GIZ helps individuals and societies to develop their own prospects and improve their living conditions.

UN Women, German National Committee is an independent public-benefit German association, and one of 14 national committees around the world, which endeavour at national level to support the work of UN Women through PR and fundraising activities.

UN Women is a UN agency founded in 2011 to work for gender equality and the empowerment of women. The work of UN Women is based on the conviction that all women are entitled to live their lives free of discrimination, violence and poverty.