Expanding women’s economic opportunities is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More than two decades after the landmark 1995 United Nations (UN) Conference on Women in Beijing and with the unprecedented consensus on the 2030 Agenda, the global commitment to gender equality has never been stronger. For the first time in history, governments have set a concrete deadline for the elimination of gender inequality—the year 2030. And the potential gains for basic human rights, for human development and for economic growth have never been larger.
This report highlights four sets of actors to lead and drive change. The public sector can lead by implementing policies to promote inclusive growth and women’s economic empowerment, and by improving public sector practices in employment and procurement. The business sector can lead by changing business culture and practices, building on the accumulating experience of companies already promoting gender equality. The United Nations and multilateral organizations can play a critical role in supporting reform and investments. And collective voice is critical—especially women’s groups, worker and employer organizations and other civil society organizations—to advocate, represent and hold decisionmakers accountable.