43 Bells Ring: A Global Voice for Gender Equality


Did you know?

  • Women take home 1/10 of global income while accounting for 2/3 of global working hours;
  • Girls and women have equal access to education in only 25 countries;
  • 1/3 experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes;
  • According to a 2016 review of 1,000 listed companies by Bloomberg LP, the average representation of women in the leadership was 23% in senior management; 21% on boards; 4% female chairpersons; and 3% female CEOs.


Taking into cognizance these challenges, the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative launched a new report with GIZ, which highlights how exchanges can and are advancing UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. Nevertheless, evidence of a business case shows how women can improve business practices globally:

  • Female representation in leadership has improved performance metrics such as ROA, ROE, and EPS while reducing volatility;
  • Family leave can boost employee morale, reducing turnover and making it easier for businesses to retain skilled workers
  • If better served, women-owned small businesses could add around $285 billion to the global economy
  • The global economy could be up to $28 trillion larger in 2025 if gender gaps were eliminated.


Gender equality as a top priority of the UN sustainability agenda, has influenced global business practices all over the world especially in the private-sector. Hence, the need for it to be resounded globally in every community, in order to achieve all-round global development.

Now in its third term, a global collaboration, 43 bells rang in stock exchanges around the world for Gender Equality in a programme themed: ‘Women at Work,’ which was organized as a partnership by the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, together with the UN Global Compact, UN Women, the IFC, Women in ETFs and the World Federation of Exchanges. The aim of the Programme was to raise awareness about the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development, in line with the International Women’s Day 2017.

Furthermore, in spirit of the celebrations, participants are encouraged to make commitments to improve gender equality in their markets, such as signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).



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