This year’s theme ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’ provides a fitting opportunity to shine a spotlight on innovation at the heart of efforts to reflect the needs and viewpoints of women and girls and to resolve barriers ranging from access to public services to training and skills development for decent work.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, SDG 4 on Quality Education and Lifelong Learning, SDG 5 on Gender Equality and SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth, requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly when it comes to advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls. Many of these new approaches are highlighted in the landmark report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work.
Training and skills can unlock the door to better work for women and girls. Yet all too often, it can also reinforce occupational stereotypes by preparing women mainly for female-dominated jobs plagued by market saturation and low incomes. Enabling women to reach a wider range of jobs and occupations in traditionally male-dominated sectors with higher incomes and status requires an increase in access to the relevant education aligned to labour market demands and formal training systems. This requires action, such introducing girls to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula, and increasing their access to digital technology that can pave the way into new high-value work.
In line with its mandate to pool knowledge on skills development for employability from credible sources, this Platform offers a variety of resources on the theme of equal employment and income opportunities. These include promoting gender equality in employment policies and programmes, entrepreneurship development, and empowering young women through business and vocational training. A selection of these resources is highlighted on the right hand margin of this page.