For information only - not an official document

8 March 2018

Re-issued as received

International Women's Day 2018

Message by LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO

VIENNA, 8 March (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - This year, we are celebrating International Women's Day at a pivotal time.

We have made great strides in enabling women's equal participation in the social, economic, and political spheres in recent decades. However, gender inequalities still prevail and, if not addressed, will undermine efforts to transform our world by way of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The global community is currently re-evaluating previously unquestioned norms about women's needs and abilities, which stem from the historical power imbalances between men and women.

UNIDO is well aware of the far-reaching repercussions of these inequalities, and of the hard work required to dismantle them. We are proud to say that advancing gender equality and women's economic empowerment are at the core of our mandate on inclusive and sustainable industrial development, both within the Organization and through our technical cooperation, policy advisory services, quality-related services, partnerships and networking.

Gender equality and the empowerment of women are key pillars of UNIDO's strategy for inclusive industrialization. When women and men are more equal, economies grow faster, people are lifted out of poverty and the overall well-being of societies is enhanced.

 In line with this year's International Women's Day priority focus on rural and urban activists, we spotlight and applaud the tireless efforts of activists working for and with UNIDO to transform women's lives. We work with teachers who are imparting knowledge and teaching skills to young women learning to be engineers and entrepreneurs; with trainers who coach and mentor women starting up their own businesses; and with policymakers formulating and implementing ways to expand opportunities for women in green industry at all levels.

 These are just some examples of UNIDO's engagement with those working to transform women's lives through inclusion in sustainable productive activities. As an International Gender Champion, I reaffirm UNIDO's commitment to create gender equality, and I encourage each of you to join women and men all over the world in calling for the empowerment of women as a foundation for creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness and safeguarding the environment.

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For further information, please contact:

Hedda Öhlberger-Fermundsenden
Gender Coordinator
Office for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, UNIDO
Tel: +43-1-26026-4755
Email: h.fermundsenden[at]