Unilever joins coalition for “Girls, Women and the Global Goals”

New York, NY - Unilever’s Commitment to Action will empower a new cadre of global female change-makers who are implementing meaningful solutions to issues in their communities around the world.

Today, at the 12th and final Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, Unilever joined No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, Vital Voices Global Partnership, WEConnect International and a coalition of over 30 core partners from the public, private, and multilateral sectors to announce a new series of commitments that aim to address significant gender gaps and advance the gender equality targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the next five years, the coalition’s collective CGI Commitments to Action will directly impact more than 900,000 individuals in over 60 countries worldwide to advance women’s economic participation, address violence against girls and women, and promote women’s leadership in both the public and private sectors.

“This coalition demonstrates that a broad range of partners from the private sector to the grassroots community to the UN offers us a powerful opportunity to accelerate opportunities for girls and women worldwide,” said Chelsea Clinton, who announced this group of commitments on-stage during a plenary session titled, Girl, Uninterrupted: Increasing Opportunity During Adolescence. “No Ceilings data show us that achieving gender equality doesn’t only change the lives and opportunities for girls and women, it changes the world. When girls and women participate fully, societies, nations, and our global community are all more secure.”

Alan Jope, Personal Care President, Unilever, said: "Unilever is committed to empowering 5 million women by 2020 through a variety of initiatives. This partnership with Vital Voices supports this commitment by providing training and skills for women change-makers who, in the face of adversity, are driving a positive impact around local issues through their own innovative solutions."

Alyse Nelson, President and CEO, Vital Voices, said: "Vital Voices' mission is to invest in women leaders to improve the world. This partnership with Unilever will help us support women who are making a difference in their communities, by empowering them through skills and resources and amplifying the impact they can make."

Unilever will co-create a signature global fellowship in partnership with Vital Voices. The fellowship will identify and invest in emerging female leaders over the next four years and arm them with the skills, resources and mentorship required to amplify the impact of their initiatives.

Through the coalition’s collective Commitments to Action, “Girls, Women and the Global Goals” will invest more than $70 million, and as a result will:

  • Directly impact more than 900,000 individuals in over 60 countries across 6 continents;
  • Spend more than $15 billion with women-owned businesses;
  • Reach more than 65,000 individuals with awareness or advocacy campaigns;
  • Offer formal and informal training to nearly 400,000 individuals, including female empowerment training, consisting of leadership training, rights education, and counseling for survivors of violence to more than 145,000 women;
  • Invest in 100 emerging women leaders from around the world through fellowship programs;
  • Pledge at least $1 million to support local organizations working to protect and empower girl and women refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrant girls and women in both transit and host countries;
  • Empower more than 10,000 women entrepreneurs by increasing their access to technology and ability to leverage it for their businesses; and
  • Contribute to the evidence base by publishing at least 12 new research reports on issues relating to women’s economic participation and gender-based violence.

With the recent adoption of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global community has marked the beginning of a new era of international development. Gender is a central feature of the SDG agenda – both as a standalone goal (SDG 5), as well as being integrated throughout the other 16 goals.

Through these commitments, Unilever and other commitment partners are charting a path forward to achieve significant progress in the lives of girls and women, complementing the work of the United Nations and country governments. These commitments work to support women from diverse socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds – from women in the developing world who are more economically disadvantaged, to women seeking leadership positions in the private sector in the United States, to women entrepreneurs around the world, as well as to protecting refugee or displaced girls and women.

These commitments build off of data aggregated in the “No Ceilings Full Participation Report,” which presents the gains and gaps that girls and women have made since 1995. Today, girls and women have a much greater chance to live healthy and secure lives, and their fundamental human rights are now protected by law in many countries throughout the world.

Yet, despite progress in the areas of health, education, and legal rights, the pace of change has been far too slow – most especially in the areas of economic opportunity, violence against girls and women, and leadership. The No Ceilings Report outlines the steps needed to achieve the full participation of girls and women globally. Driven by data, this coalition of partners from across sectors is moving from evidence to action, and working to close critical gender gaps where they are needed most.

Ends

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,500 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Vital Voices Global Partnership invests in women leaders who improve the world. Guided by the belief that women are essential to progress in their communities, it has partnered with leaders from more than 140 countries who advance economic opportunity, increase political and public leadership, and end violence against women. Programs in strategic planning, business, advocacy and communications build critical skills needed for creating transformational change at scale. Through its global platform, women leaders expand their connections and visibility, accelerating shared progress for all. Visit www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.

Unilever NV

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Unilever PLC

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Vital Voices, Kathy O’Hearn

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KathyOHearn@vitalvoices.org

Louise Phillips

+44 (0) 7825 049 151
Louise.Phillips@unilever.com

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