The UfM partnered with UNIDO for the conference “Women in Industry and Innovation – Building women‘s resilience to global challenges and emerging crises” which took place online on 15-17 July 2020, gathering over 1600 users. The conference addressed how to improve resilience along value chains, realising emerging opportunities through ICTs and digital technologies, and tap into opportunities in circular economy to help women strengthen their position and improve their resilience in the face of crises such as COVID-19.
Organised under the framework of the UfM labelled project “Promoting Women Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA Region”, the event gathered government representatives, private sector actors, experts, entrepreneurs, researchers and other relevant stakeholders, in an effort to promote the development of an inclusive and sustainable environment for the economic empowerment of women as drivers of industry and innovation.
Among others, experts highlighted the relevance of female role models, which are crucial in inspiring young girls to enter the STEM fields, the role in transitioning to circular economy models and the importance of a cultural transition to create safe spaces for women in traditionally male dominated sectors, stressing the urgent need to tackle sexual harassment and maternity protection.
At a social level, speakers pointed out how investments in the care economy are lacking and more actions to ensure men share unpaid care work more evenly are needed, through education and by supporting paternity leaves.
Finally, the need for more to be done towards protecting single parents, who are predominantly women, was also highlighted.