On 17 March 2015, GWI and Women Graduates-USA member, Alice Dahle, delivered GWI’s oral statement (under the former title of IFUW) at the fifty-ninth session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59). The statement focussed on the economic empowerment of women, which is an essential condition for sustainable development, social change and fiscal growth.
In order for all women to attain financial independence and empowerment, IFUW recommended the following:
- All States should formally adopt and enforce legislation to prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace, with particular focus on applying the principle of equal pay for work of equal value;
- States must provide equal access to lifelong, safe, quality education and training up to the highest levels for all girls and women, including secure learning environments. All educational policies should take into account and provide for the needs of marginalised and at-risk groups, including women with disabilities and those from indigenous, minority or migrant backgrounds or those displaced by war;
- Schools, vocational training centres and other learning institutions should include business acumen and financial literacy in the curriculum to foster entrepreneurship amongst girls and women;
- Girls should be actively encouraged to study in the areas of STEM and information and communication technologies (ICTs), which can improve the competitiveness and economies of states by increasing innovation. States should also foster partnerships with the private sector to develop mentoring and scholarship programmes in STEM and ICT;
- Educational institutions should design tertiary education curricula to incorporate flexible learning
options including part-time, evening or online classes; and
- Girls and women must be provided with access to safe and decent labour conditions.