Women's empowerment: The 'DNA' of post-2015 development and financing

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of U.N. Women. Photo by: Jennifer S. Altman / U.N. Women / CC BY-NC-ND

A cursory glance through the Addis Ababa Action Agenda — the outcome document finalized at this month’s third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — gives advocates of women’s empowerment reason for cautious optimism.

The Addis agenda “reaffirmed” that achieving gender equality is essential to sustainable development. It “reiterated” the need to mainstream gender in all financial, economic, environmental and social policies. The document called for the elimination of gender-based violence and discrimination, and noted support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles — a seven-point guideline for businesses to empower women, developed jointly by U.N. Women and the U.N. Global Compact.

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About the author

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    Sibylle Koenig

    Sibylle Koenig is a development consultant and policy adviser with 10 years of experience in managing, monitoring and evaluating international aid programs and grant schemes, as well as advocacy. She has worked for a variety of organizations, including the European Commission, U.N. and bilateral aid agencies and NGOs in Latin America (4 years) and Europe, with extensive work travel to Africa (Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Kenya, Botswana) and Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, South Korea).