The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), organized a capacity-building programme for members of the Subcommittee on Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals in the area of development and reform of welfare and social protection policies to empower women economically and enhance their participation in the labour market.
This capacity enhancement programme, which brought together members of the Subcommittee on Gender Equality (representing national women machineries and national statistics offices), as well as representatives of labour ministries and national institutions for social protection, comes within the framework of ESCWA and its partners’ efforts to provide technical support to Member States through the preparation of technical materials, and the capacity-building of committee members particularly in what relates to the Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality, as well as the provision of tools and knowledge that contribute in aligning national policies with the SDGs.
It consists of a virtual seminar and two training workshops.
The virtual seminar targets national women machineries, national statistics offices, labor ministries and national institutions for social protection, and serves as a key entry point for the programme by focusing on:
- Introducing SDG5 and its target 5.4 which recommends to “recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure, and social protection policies, and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate"
- Introducing and discussing the importance of redistributing the burden of unpaid care work in order to promote women's economic participation, particularly in light of the prevailing and anticipated demographic dynamics and in the context of worsening social and economic crises, especially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic;
- Providing a detailed introduction to the concept of care economy: its components and its links to social protection policies, as well as its importance in promoting women's economic empowerment.
The first training workshop targets national women machineries and national statistics offices, and focuses on:
- Putting forward and discussing indicators related to target 5.4 of SDG5 as well as their importance;
- Putting forward and discussing the needed data as well as its importance and availability in the Arab region;
- Presenting existing efforts at the Arab level.
The second training workshop targets national women machineries, ministries of labour and national institutions for social protection and focuses on:
- Presenting and discussing existing policy and legal frameworks related to care work in the Arab region;
- Discussing efforts related to care work in the context of the Covid pandemic in the Arab region;
- Discussing existing efforts related to care work in the Arab region;
- Presenting some regional and global good practices in this context.