How Gender Equality Can Help Build Sustainable Peace
Gender equality by 2030 is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the United Nations has identified. However, the U.N. faces challenges in raising the $5 trillion to $7 trillion needed annually to achieve those goals, and private sector investment is critical to fill that funding gap. Persuading private investors to back projects that advance gender equality calls for concerted efforts to show that empowering women could reduce risks and enhance overall outcomes, especially in creating sustainable peace in conflict-affected regions around the world.
The Knowledge@Wharton podcast series From Backstreet to Wall Street focuses on women, innovators and entrepreneurs who are building sustainable peace. In this episode, three experts share their insights: Corry Van Gaal, deputy director of the Impact and Innovative Finance group at Global Affairs Canada, a government agency; Sherryl Kuhlman, managing director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative; and Durreen Shahnaz, founder and CEO of the Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a social stock exchange and the world’s largest impact investment private placement platform. (Listen to the complete podcast above.)
Two years ago, Canada announced its Feminist International Assistance Policy, which lays out a focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. That policy had pledged that 95% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance initiatives would target or integrate gender equality by 2021 and 2022. It achieved its goals for that policy in just one year after its launch, according to Van Gaal. In particular, this program includes the empowerment of adolescent girls, and it has “a strong focus on the fight against sexual exploitation and abuse, and the promotion of gender equality and humanitarian action,” she said.
Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Secretariat.