Together we are going to change the world!

This comment was made by Jane Hodges, Director of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch of the ILO, at the inauguration ceremony of Gender Academy on 11 November

She also mentioned the five important keys for success in gender equality: political commitment, policy, plans to implement, products and people. These are the change agents needed to allow women to enjoy an equal voice.

Welcoming more than 170 participants from over 70 countries, Patricia O’Donovan, Centre Director, invited them to transform this unique learning opportunity into a platform for discussion on gender issues, an exchange of successful experiences and to establish successful networks for the further dissemination of effective practices, and to support a more strategic vision and approach.

The Director of the Coordination Division of UN Women, Mr Moez Doraid, hopes that the Academy will be instrumental in the attainment of the ultimate goal of defending human rights and development, through the improvement of the lives of women and girls.

Clemencia Muñoz Tamayo, Director of the UN Women Training Centre, said that training is fundamental for gender equality and the empowerment of women. The collaboration with the Turin Centre will support discussion and reflection on current trends in training and capacity development for gender equality. The Academy will be useful for the collection and dissemination of good practices, opportunities and resources for training on gender equality at the global level.

Victoria Marina Velásquez de Avilés, Chairperson of the ILO’s Governing Body and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations Office in Geneva, said that there is an urgent need to create a more inclusive workplace and that international organizations like the ILO have played and can play a role of primary importance, through their treaties and conferences focused on gender issues, and the proposal and adoption of conventions, recommendations and standards that bind states. “We should have respect for the rights of both men and women, and give them all opportunities to enter any trade or profession regardless of gender, and the same access to education, health, property, credit, technology.

“The equality that we claim”, she continued, “plays a pivotal role in creating economic growth and poverty reduction. We are a force for development and for change: our struggle is now for the full establishment of decent work in our societies.

“If we do not succeed, and we encounter inequalities and exclusion in the world of work, many years will pass and we will continue to suffer the cost of being women.”

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