The OSCE’s Gender Section held a discussion on gender and economy on the margins of the 20th Annual Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague on 14 September 2012.
OSCE Senior Gender Adviser Miroslava Beham, speaking to some 40 women and men at the event, emphasized the need to both recognize the specific impact of the financial crisis on women as well as move beyond a discussion on vulnerabilities to focus on the full economic empowerment of women.
Full empowerment of women, she emphasized, can be a powerful tool in improving the overall economic and security situation for society as a whole.
Naoko Otobe, Senior Employment Specialist of the International Labour Organization, citing recent ILO sponsored research which detailed the severe impact of the economic crisis on women, advocated for better government policies to promote inclusive governance.
The OSCE and its participating States can play a crucial role in supporting policies that address fundamental economic inequalities, she said: “Women's voices should be very much involved in reinvigorating the economic sector."
The research showed that including women in good governance and anti-corruption policies creates more transparent, fair and reliable systems, Gender-relevant solutions are therefore critical to encouraging long term stability and economic security.
Both speakers emphasized that the economic crisis could help to generate real change and momentum, but that such change could only be achieved through the meaningful inclusion of women.