Towards an Enabling Global Environment: Accelerating Women Leadership and Empowerment

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development and SDG target 5.5 rightly calls for ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. The past three decades, women have almost achieved parity with men in the workforce and have attained prominence as activists and advocates. Yet, men outpace women in leadership roles across every sector - corporate, non-profit, government, politics, law, education, medicine, military and support services. Though gender equality between women and men is a fundamental right, women still face challenges in achieving leadership positions based on discrimination, social stereotypes and violence. The implications of such prejudiced leadership which constraints women empowerment is cause for both concern and discussion. What is causing this multifactorial and deep-seated gap and keeping women and the under-represented groups from advancing to the top?

To address the many challenges confronting women in leadership positions, including poor access to social and economic capital, insufficient contacts to explore innovative entrepreneurism, constraining gender culture, paucity of role models; and a lack of positive attitudes about their own personal capacities, The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), in partnership with South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE), a joint initiative of the USAID and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), is hosting a plenary session - Towards an Enabling Global Environment: Accelerating Women Leadership and Empowerment. The Plenary seeks to deliberate and create a space for dialogue on the following issues to enable global environment accelerating women leadership –

  • What kind of platform need to be created to address four types of barriers to leadership and empowerment for women - structural barriers, institutional mindsets, individual mindsets and lifestyle choices?
  • What more can be done to expand social capital and attract, retain and advance women leaders at political, economic and public life?
  • Do changes in legislation address structure of power and create an enabling environment to promote women empowerment to achieve leadership positions?