FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2022
Contact: Joe Shaffner, Senior Communications Manager, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday, March 17th, a parallel event at NGO CSW66, the leading forum for civil society organizations at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), saw the official launch of WeProsper, a new global coalition that engages in strategic advocacy to advance women’s economic empowerment, justice, and rights.
The virtual event, ‘Launching Collective Global Action for Meaningful Change in Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE)’, was attended by government representatives, nonprofit and corporate leaders, grassroots organizations, and others from around the world interested in learning more about the coalition’s mission, vision, and goals – as well as how to get involved.
High-profile government officials from Spain and Sweden kicked off the event and referenced important examples of gender policy initiatives in their countries, summarized the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on WEE, and issued a rallying call for more countries to mainstream gender-focused policies and embrace a feminist foreign policy.
María Jesús Conde Zabala, Ambassador At-Large for Feminist Foreign Policy, Government of Spain said, “Two years after the beginning of this crisis, we need, more than ever, investments that guarantee women’s access to decent employment, care leave policies including maternity and paternity protection, childcare, and long term care services – and of course the control over their own time, lives, and bodies.”
Ulrika Grandin, Deputy Director, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also stressed the importance of statistics and data, which are fundamental to WeProsper’s evidence base, stating, “If they have the facts on the table, it’s more difficult to argue.”
WeProsper steering committee members Wangari Kinoti, Women’s Rights and Feminist Alternatives Thematic Lead at ActionAid International, and Kelsey Harris, Senior Global Policy Advocate at the International Center for Research on Women, shared insights about the coalition’s foundations and plan of action. As Wangari stated, “We see this coalition as a contributor to the past and present constellation of efforts, collaborations, and networks that have and continue to put women’s economic justice on the agenda.”
A central part of the event, which was moderated by Ritu Sharma, Vice President of US Programs and Policy Advocacy at CARE, was a panel discussion involving fellow coalition steering committee members Fridah Githuku, Executive Director at GROOTS Kenya; Professor Judith Waudo, Hub Leader at Kenyatta University WEE Hub; Paromita Sen, Research Manager at SEWA Bharat; and Shirley Pryce, President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union, who each talked about key structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment. Specifically, they delved into land rights, informality, gender-based violence, and care, sharing tested frameworks to achieve change in these areas.
Recognizing that, although there is a long road ahead and it is easy to feel demoralized, the event concluded with a hopeful dialogue showcasing success stories of change from member organizations and setting out the future for WeProsper’s work.
As Shirley Pryce, President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union, concluded, “Collectively, we will stop the whisper, and we will start to shout… We’re going to stand together, we’re going to fight together, we’re going to win together, and guess what, we’re going to be bold together.”
You can watch the full event here, find out more by viewing the coalition overview here, or by visiting the WeProsper website via this link.
Joseph Shaffner, Senior Communications Manager at International Center for Research on Women.
WeProsper is a global coalition that engages in strategic advocacy to advance women’s economic empowerment, justice, and rights by simultaneously challenging existing power structures and systems while amplifying the voice and agency of women and girls as economic actors.
We are continually growing our global evidence base – comprising both rigorous research and lived experience – to best inform policy change that advances women’s economic empowerment. We believe that women’s economic empowerment, justice, and rights can only be achieved by addressing the structural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving economic equality.
WeProsper has over 35 members from across the globe, including regional and global civil society organizations, international non-governmental organizations, grassroots organizations, women-led and feminist groups, academic institutions, and the private sector, who collectively advocate for change.
Together, we work with governments and policymakers to address structural barriers and enable women and girls to achieve their full potential, develop skills, gain access to resources, and be fully engaged in decision-making that impacts them and their families.