Women's Economic Empowerment: Areas for joint actions in the Western Balkans

Women's Economic Empowerment: Areas for joint actions in the Western Balkans

December 10, 2020

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to sustainable development.

Gender equality underpins the prosperity and well-being of economies and societies. Half of the world’s available human capital has a huge bearing on the equitable growth, competitiveness and future readiness of economies and businesses.

Globally, in 2020, women held only 25.2 percent of parliamentary seats and only 21.2 percent of ministerial positions. At this rate, it will take another century to close the gender gap in political representation.

In recent decades, there has been global progress in narrowing gender gaps in educational attainment and health. Women on average have gained in life expectancy. But the economic gender gap has widened. In the rapidly changing world of work, women’s participation in the labour market is stalling and income disparities are growing due to women’s underrepresentation in occupations and opportunities in lucrative growth sectors and higher paid positions, a trend that has led to income gaps.

UNDP, as one of the leading development entities within the United Nations, and RCC, as an inclusive regional body in South East Europe, propose this document to bring about women’s economic empowerment. Both organizations are committed to advancing gender equality, in line with their respective mandates, as a cornerstone of sustainable development, and both have presence and strong partners in the Western Balkans.