With support from the European Union, UN Women has launched the 2020 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards to recognize exemplary business practice for gender equality, aligned to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
Timed with the 10th anniversary of the WEPs, the Awards will offer business leaders and companies a unique opportunity to be recognized and make their efforts to advance gender equality visible amongst their customers, employees and partners, as well as inspire others to take action for wider impact.
Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director, UN Women Asia and the Pacific, said the year 2020, marking the anniversaries of the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the Beijing Platform for Action, is an important milestone for driving corporate action on women’s equality and inclusion.
"We now not only have the momentum, but also the power to take our actions to the next level. In that spirit, I invite companies that champion women’s economic empowerment to nominate their CEOs for the Awards.”
Pirkka Tapiola, Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand, is looking forward to the new spirit of collaboration and community the Awards will bring.
“It is important that all key actors – policymakers, business leaders, and civil society – come together and do their part to empower women as business leaders and entrepreneurs. In times of economic recovery from COVID-19, joining forces to ensure gender equality in the workplace is key to building back better. The WEPs Awards are a great opportunity for businesses, companies and entrepreneurs to demonstrate leadership and impact.”
Katja Freiwald, WeEmpowerAsia Regional Programme Manager, UN Women Asia and the Pacific, said as they embark on the next decade of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, they are celebrating this milestone by honouring business action that empowers women in the Asia-Pacific.
"Signing the WEPs – one of the world’s largest public-private efforts for gender equality – is just the first step. Now it’s time to fast-track your SDG 5 impact, share your best practices, share your actions, get visible and inspire others.”
Established by UN Women and United Nations Global Compact, the WEPs are a set of 7 principles guiding businesses to become more gender-responsive across their value chain.
Support for the seven Principles has gathered global momentum – thousands of companies worldwide regardless of size and sector are now WEPs champions – and therefore also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The call for applications are now open to all Asia-Pacific countries until September 25th (Bangkok time).
The Awards will recognize initiatives in the following categories: Leadership, Youth Leadership (for leaders until 30 years of age), Gender-Inclusive Workplace, Gender-Responsive Marketplace, Community and Industry Engagement, and COVID-19 Action.
Applicants from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam will have the chance to be recognized in the National WEPs Awards in November as part of the wider initiative by the EU-funded project WeEmpowerAsia of UN Women.
All applicants, including National WEPs Awards Winners, will have the opportunity to be selected as Asia-Pacific regional winners and celebrate in the larger Regional Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards on December 10, 2020.