unctad.org | Borderline: Private sector players “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” to mark International Women’s Day
Borderline: Private sector players “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” to mark International Women’s Day
08 marzo 2018
Womens day
UNCTAD’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative joins partners to raise awareness on the role listed companies can play in women’s economic empowerment.

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March nearly 60 stock exchanges around the world will “ring the bell” to raise awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Participants in the bell-ringing ceremonies include stock exchanges within the UNCTAD co-organized Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. These exchanges are encouraged to take steps to improve gender equality in their markets, including promoting gender balance on boards of directors and in senior management.

They can also encourage companies to sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles and develop more gender-friendly policies. In addition, exchanges are involved in developing gender-themed investment products – such as “gender bonds” – and improving transparency on gender policies and practices.

The events are a partnership between the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative and the World Federation of Exchanges, the International Finance Corporation, the UN Global Compact, UN Women, and Women in Exchange Traded Funds .

Investment as a force for achieving social goals

"Stock exchanges are a powerful voice to the business community and it is impressive to see so many exchanges around the world standing up for gender equality in their markets," UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said.

"Gender equality in the boardroom and the management team not only enhances the effectiveness of companies but creates the conditions for defending women's rights more broadly throughout industry and society," she added.

James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's Investment and Enterprise Division, said: "International investment mechanisms are not only a driver of poverty reduction but can also be a force for achieving important social goals such as gender equality. We applaud the stock exchanges around the world that are marking International Women's Day by promoting gender equality in the workplace."

Nandini Sukumar, CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges said in a statement: “We are very proud that so many of our members and affiliates are planning to ring bells next week, the fourth year of this important initiative. Making progress on the issue of gender equality is both an economic and social imperative."

Sixty-three bell-ringing celebrations take place globally from 5–13 March 2018.

How stock exchanges can promote gender equality

In 2017, UNCTAD and its SSE partners launched the report “How stock exchanges can promote gender equality” which examines the contribution exchanges can make toward target 5 of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on “ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic, and public life”. The report also looks at gender-specific targets under the other 16 Sustainable Development Goals.

More information:

Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative

The SSE is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges – in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies –can encourage sustainable investment and enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on environmental, social and corporate governance issues. The SSE is convened by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative, and the Principles for Responsible Investment. For more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts, how to become a Partner Stock Exchange, and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets, visit www.sseinitiative.org, or follow on Twitter: @sseinitiative

United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to act in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 70 Local Networks. For more information, visit www.unglobalcompact.org, or follow on Twitter and Instagram: @globalcompact

UN Women

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org

World Federation of Exchanges

Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics and publishes over 350 market data indicators. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies. The WFE promotes the development of fair, efficient and transparent markets. It works with policymakers, regulators and standard-setters around the world to support the development of effective rules and standards for exchanges and market participants. For more information, please visit: www.world-exchanges.org

Women in ETFs

Women in ETFs (WE) is the first women’s group for the exchange traded funds (EFT) industry. Founded in January 2014, WE is a non-profit organization that brings together over 3,900 members, including women and men, in chapters in major financial centres across the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA), and the Asia Pacific regions to further the careers of women by leveraging our collective skill and ambition.

Women in ETFs brings together women and men to:

  • Connect – Create opportunities for professional advancement of women by expanding connections among women and men in the ETF industry
  • Support – Offer guidance for the current and next generation of women in ETFs
  • Inspire – WE achieves this by organizing events at our chapters globally that support our goals of education, networking, philanthropy and idea sharing across the industry and beyond.

For more information, visit www.womeninetfs.com or follow on Twitter: @WomeninETFs and Linkedin: Women in ETFs


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