Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)

Established by UN Women and UN Global Compact Office

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), are the result of a partnership between the UN Global Compact and UN Women to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

The principles of the UNGC, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlight women’s empowerment as a vital developmental target and emphasize the importance of dealing with gender inequality. The participation of the private sector is essential because women’s employment is crucial for economic growth and development, knowing that the Lebanese private sector provides the large majority of employment opportunities.

What are the seven WEPs?

Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination
Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all women and men workers
Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality

Why adopt the WEPs?

Female employees tend to be concentrated in an entry or middle-level positions. That said, the more senior the position, the lower the percentage of women. Lebanese women tend to occupy a very small minority of the senior professional managerial or leadership positions. Therefore, the WEPs ask for a rebalancing of the situation. They call for deliberate policies to ensure that women are given opportunities to access leadership positions, training in order to improve their status in comparison to men, to have better work conditions with ensured health, safety, and well-being, and are free from discrimination. It also calls for companies to become better advocates of gender equality within their sphere of influence.

How can empowering women benefit businesses?

Investing in diversity is critical for innovation, performance, and reputation within a business. It has taken companies some time to realize that if a workforce reflects the diversity of its consumer base, then productivity and innovation will be better. Studies have shown that team diversity reduces groupthink and leads to better decision-making, problem-solving and creative output.
On the other side, consumers are also more likely to have a positive feeling about companies that are gender-diverse, which improves brand reputations.

“We look at the private sector to generate innovation, employment and financing that can bridge the gender gaps in the world of work and advance the Sustainable Development Goals. This will help our women, families and communities, and it is certainly good for the bottom line in business. Companies that invest in women and support women’s leadership and decision-making, and commit to gender equality typically outperform their competitors. The Women’s Empowerment Principles offer a great platform for change.”

Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General at the 2018 WEPs Forum

Women’s Empowerment Principles: Make Today Your Organization’s Signature Moment:

Additional Resources

The WEPs Transparency and Accountability Framework presented in this document aim to provide companies with a holistic set of indicators that are most likely to advance gender equality across corporate value chains aligned with existing corporate gender equality frameworks. UN Women believes that by using the WEPs Transparency and Accountability Framework as a tool for transparent reporting, companies, with support from government and other stakeholders, can more effectively work towards a gender-equal economy that works for all women and men. The framework was developed by UN Women with the support of BSR and with financial support from the European Union through the WE EMPOWER-G7, WeEmpower Asia, and Win-Win Programmes as well as amfori.

Learn more about the Women’s Empowerment Principles

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