A Call-to-Action to Accelerate Gender Equality in Africa by the UN Global Compact

African business leaders demonstrate their commitment to advancing gender equality and recognizing it as a driver for economic growth and regional integration. 

The UN Global Compact has set the ambitious target of calling upon 100 African companies who are current signatories of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to partner with the Global Compact to commit to advancing gender equality for the good of the continent. “The WEPs 100” will be at the forefront of accelerating corporate sustainability and economic recovery and growth in Africa through this gender equality initiative.

“Africa is a resource-rich, youthful, geographically vast and politically diverse region with exponential potential to accelerate gender equality,” said Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary General and CEO of the UN Global Compact. “Through this initiative, the Global Compact plans to multiply the number of companies across the continent with commitments to advancing gender equality, thereby making lasting impact across the region. Especially now, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, placing gender equality at the center of business is essential to catapulting economic growth, building a more resilient future and creating a world where women and girls thrive."


The WEPs are a set of seven Principles created by the UN Global Compact and UN Women based on international standards to guide business action to create gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. Through this call-to-action, “The WEPs 100” are demonstrating their commitment to advancing gender equality by making lasting impact throughout their supply chains and paving the way for sustainable change.


“The WEPs 100” will commit to each recruiting 10 companies from within their supply chain to sign up to the WEPs thereby not only demonstrating their dedication to gender equality, but also their acknowledgment that the private sector in Africa is taking ownership of the need to drive this agenda. 

We are calling upon businesses across the African continent to show leadership by engaging suppliers in raising awareness about the WEPs, applying gender standards in supplier qualifications and ultimately recognising that companies that commit to gender equality outperform their competitors. We also encourage businesses to commit to ambitious targets for procuring from women-owned and women-run businesses. The UN Global Compact will support businesses in their outreach to suppliers through offering a Supplier Engagement Toolkit, WEPs 101 webinars and by supporting the advocacy and outreach of “The WEPs 100” members as they take the lead in the movement to build a more gender equitable continent. 


Promoting gender equality is good for business. Having suppliers commit to the WEPs mainstreams gender equality throughout procurement practices, which is not only the right thing for business to do, but the smart thing to do. Putting money in the hands of women in business not only increases women’s economic empowerment; it can lift families out of poverty and strengthen communities and entire economies and continents.  “By committing to this call-to-action, “The WEPs100” will move the needle on building a more resilient Africa”.

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