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Posted on June 5, 2019 | Updated at 10AM

FinDev Canada and UN Women join forces to empower women through private sector investments

UN Women

FinDev Canada and UN Women signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in advancing women’s economic empowerment through private sector initiatives. 

The parties will also contribute to ensuring that investors worldwide learn about the business case behind gender-lens investing and the multiple advantages of applying gender considerations to their portfolios. 

“We look forward to this collaboration that will enable us to support our clients to enhance their impact on women’s economic empowerment” said Stéphanie Émond, Director, Impact, at FinDev Canada. “We are confident that this partnership will generate insights that will contribute to the global learning agenda on the social as well as financial dividends for companies and investors to consider gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in business decisions”.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, said: “Canada’s commitment to gender equality and its partnership with UN Women has been strengthened under the Feminist International Assistance Policy and today, UN Women and FinDev Canada begin a promising new collaboration. Partnering with a gender lens investor such as FinDev Canada will help us drive greater investments in private sector initiatives that support women’s economic empowerment in Latin America, the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and especially Goal 5 – Gender Equality.”

Both institutions will also focus in improving data collection, analysis and benchmarking of women’s economic empowerment in the private sector. This data is vital, not only to understand the advancement of gender equality in the economy, but also to identify the current barriers to women’s economic participation and the most effective solutions to tackle them. 

FinDev Canada signs the Women’s Empowerment Principles

Added to the recent partnership with UN Women, FinDev Canada has also signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of ground rules designed by UN Women and UN Global Compact to drive change for gender equality in the private sector.

FinDev Canada also adopted the WEP’s Gender Gap Analysis Tool, designed to help assess the gender equality performance of businesses, for its portfolio companies.

“The WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool is recognized as a high-quality, user-friendly way for the private sector to operationalize their commitment to women’s economic empowerment in their business activities” expressed Anne-Marie Lévesque, Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment Advisor at FinDev Canada. “Through this strategic partnership, FinDev Canada and UN Women will promote the use of the tool and the application of the Principles by businesses in emerging markets, and drive improvements in data collection, analysis and benchmarking on women’s economic empowerment in the private sector,” she added.

The agreement was announced at the Gender-Smart Investment Summit, celebrated during the 2019 Women Deliver Summit in Vancouver.

About FinDev Canada

The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc., operating under the FinDev Canada brand, is a Canadian institution dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries with the aim of combating poverty through economic growth by focusing on three main themes: economic development through job creation, women economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation. The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC). Find out more about FinDev Canada here.

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide. It works globally to make the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for women and girls and stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life. Find our more about UN Women here:


For more information, please contact:

FinDev Canada:
Angela Rodriguez

UN Women:
Zina Alam