Forum on invest in women held at CCG

March 08 , 2024




On 8 March 2024, in celebration of International Women’s Day, and in response to the priority theme of the 68th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) (i.e., “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”), Global Development Promotion Center (GDPC) of China International Development Cooperation Agency’s (CIDCA), UN Women in China and the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) co-organized a symposium titled “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” at the headquarters of CCG in Beijing.

Globally, one of the main challenges to realizing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – “Gender Equality” – is the lack of funding. It is estimated that the funding gap for gender equality is as high as $360 billion per year. Increasing long-term and sustainable investment in women and girls is a key factor in accelerating the achievement of SDG 5 and is also relevant to the implementation of the other 16 sustainable development goals.

This Symposium attracted wide-ranging participation and attention from both domestic and international stakeholders. It aimed at providing a platform to facilitate exchanges of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned focusing on bridging the financing for gender gap, while also seeking to inspire innovative approaches and catalyze actions towards advancing the gender equality and women empowerment commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals (including SDG 5). Around thirty entities including Chinese government entities and development cooperation actors, foreign embassies in China, the OECD, UN agencies, research institutions and think tanks, development financial institutions, private sector and civil society, exchanged views on how to enhance cooperation towards these objectives. The Symposium has also attracted a cumulative total of 60,000 audience watching via online live streaming across multiple social media platforms.

Tang Ying, Director-General of the Global Development Promotion Center, emphasized in her remarks that “achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls- as the Sustainable Development Goal 5, is also an important concern of the Global Development Initiative.” She further stated that “China has been actively helping other developing countries to forward the cause of women and create more and newer opportunities for the protection of women’s rights and interests and the promotion of their own growth. We welcome both domestic and foreign parties to actively participate in the construction of the Global Development Project Pool and Capital Pool, explore new cooperation modality and contribute to the mobilization of development resources, and jointly accelerate action to promote gender equality and women’s all-round development.”

Ms. Smriti Aryal, Country Representative of UN Women in China, in her remarks underlined that the financial requirements to bridge the gaps for gender equality and women’s empowerment are substantial. She stressed that “it is possible to make policy choices aimed at accelerating progress towards ending poverty and achieving inclusive, sustainable development for all. This will require investment in a comprehensive set of economic and social policies and gender-responsive, accountable institutions to address the systemic structural barriers and intersecting forms of discrimination that women and girls continue to face.”

In her remarks, Dr. Mabel Lu Miao, Co-founder and Secretary-General of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG). She said that “the positive impact of gender equality policies on women and children has always been the focus of CCG, and that the theme of ‘Investing in Women, Accelerate Progress’ is relevant to everyone and is an important issue for realizing gender equality in these challenging times. It requires not only moral support, but also tangible economic investment. “Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress” is one of the most important steps towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and, more importantly, towards the full achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

In his keynote speech, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in China, said that “gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. As China continues to expand its development cooperation institutions, we see continued opportunities to draw from international best practices, norms, and standards. Together, we can build a gender-responsive infrastructure of development cooperation policies, guidelines, and frameworks to effectively mainstream gender equality and women’s empowerment at the programmatic and institutional levels in order to achieve SDG 5 and all of the other cross-cutting goals. The UN in China is committed to working with the Government of China, stakeholders, and partners, to support continued progress for the needs, rights, and interests of women and girls.”

Roundtable Discussion I, entitled ” Financing for Gender Equality in International Development Cooperation” was moderated by Ms. Smriti Aryal, Country Representative of UN Women in China. The panelists included H.E. Jorge Toledo Albiñana, Head of European Union Delegation to China; Ms. Tang Ying, Director General, Global Development Promotion Center; H.E. Maria Gustava, Ambassador of Mozambique to China; Ms. Beate Trankmann, Resident Representative, UNDP China; and Mr. Tamas Hajba, OECD Representative in China and Senior Advisor for China Affairs; Mr. Erik Berglof, Chief Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB), and Professor Li Yingtao, Professor at the School of International Relations and Diplomacy, Beijing Foreign Studies University, who shared insights, experiences and lessons on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through international development cooperation and financing, calling for strengthened international solidarities, innovative approaches and mechanisms moving forward.

Roundtable Discussion II, entitled “Financing for Gender Equality from a Public Policy Perspective”, was moderated by H.E. Mwende Linai, Deputy Head, Embassy of Kenya to China. H.E. James Kimonyo, Ambassador of Rwanda to China; H.E. Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele, Ambassador of South Africa to China; Mr. Yang Yiyong, Director of the Institute of Market and Price Research, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); H.E. Ms. Jennifer May, Ambassador of Canada to China; Ms. Xing Li, Vice President, Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, Ministry of Finance; Justine Coulson, UNFPA Representative to China and Country Director for UNFPA in Mongolia; Ms. Dong Kui, Secretary-General, China Women’s Development Fund discussed and exchanged views on the importance of enabling and enhancing gender-responsive national public policy (including fiscal and budgeting frameworks), regulatory and financing mechanisms in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and how to strengthen a gender lens across policy making as well as decision making at project and investment level.

Roundtable Discussion III, entitled “Incentivizing Gender Financing Instruments through Public-Private Partnerships”, was moderated by Dr. Mabel Lu Miao, Co-founder and Secretary-General of the Center for China and Globalization. Prof. Wang Yao, Director General, International Institute of Green Finance; Ms. Li Ye, Vice President & Vice Chair of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (CAEFI), Vice President of Merck Holding (China) Ltd.; Mr. Stephen Kargbo, UNIDO Representative to China, DPR Korea, Mongolia; Ms. Zhang Fang, Head of Greater China Business Development, Luxembourg Stock Exchange; Ms. Susan Zhu, Board Chairman & CEO, Shanghai Treasure Carbon New Energy Environmental Protection Technology Ltd. spoke on the existing instruments, mechanisms and tools of private and public sector partners have been employed in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, while also sharing sector-specific experiences and practices such as renewable energy and science and technology. U. Nena Lekwauwa AVP, Global Compliance, ETS Corporate; Ms. Zephyr He, Vice President, GIADA ; Ms. Lily Hao, Chief Medical Officer, Arrail Plus, participated in the interactive session.

The event was supported by Shenzhen Amos Food Group, the “sweet messenger” with a “Passport to the World”.