Economic Empowerment of Women & Girls – Forum on 10 October 2016


The NGO CSW Geneva with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) organized a one-day Forum on

the Economic Empowerment of Women & Girls in a Sustainable Perspective


The Forum took place:

  • on 10 October 2016,
  • at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Room XIX 


Forum Report for Download




9:15 am – 9:45 am: Forum registration and welcome coffee near Room XIX (2F – E Building)


10:00 am – 10:30 am:  Opening Statements

  • Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) – Statement 
  • Simone Ovart, President of the NGO CSW Geneva and UN Representative for ZONTA International
  • Chantal Oltramare, Programme Manager, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – Statement


10:30 am – 11:45 am: Panel on Government Procurement


Government procurement represents a significant part of GDP in most countries, and can effectively be used to promote women-led business enterprises, and more generally gender equality.

  • Meg Jones, Chief, Economic Empowerment, UN Women – Video: Sensitization on Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO)
  • Vanessa Erogbogbo, Head of the women and trade programme, International  Trade Center (ITC) – Video: #SheTrades initiative: champions of 7 global actions for women’s empowerment
  • Tetiana Lisovska, Head of Division of the Public Procurement Regulation Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine – PowerPoint
  • Dr. Steve Binggeli, Economist, Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE), Switzerland – PowerPoint
  • Moderator: Anna Caroline Müller, Legal Affairs Officer, Government procurement team of the WTO


11:45 am – 1:00 pm: Panel on Equal Pay between Men and Women


The gender wage gap remains high, with globally women still earning on average 77% of what men earn, a discrimination that contributes to the feminization of poverty and that must be addressed.

  • Pascale Vielle, Professor of Law at Université de Louvain, Scientific collaborator at Université Libre de Bruxelles – PowerPoint
  • Sonja Hönig, President, Zonta International – PowerPoint
  • Véronique Goy Veenhuys, Founder & CEO, EQUAL-SALARY Foundation – Powerpoint
  • Raquel Blanc Gutiérrez, Vice President Diversity & Inclusiveness, Philip Morris Intl. – PowerPoint
  • Moderator: Mary Farmer, Professor, Leading Women program, Copenhagen Business School


1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Lunch Break  (sandwiches will be provided)


3:00 pm – 4:15 pm:  Panel on Women in Decision Making Positions


Bringing more women in leadership & decision-making positions in all sectors & at all levels has the potential to positively change the perspectives & performances of any organization.

  • Eelco Wierda, researcher Atria Institut, Amsterdam
  • Thannaletchimy Housset, Gender Expert of the International Organization of Employers
  • Regula Kuhn Hammer, EDA KUG
  • Frances Raday, Expert member, UN Working Group on Discrimnation against Women in Law and Practice
  • Moderator: Catherine Bosshart-Pfluger, Executive Secretary, International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International)


4:15 pm – 5:30 pm: Panel on Addressing Unpaid Care Work


The unequal sharing between men and women of domestic tasks and caring responsibilities is now well recognized as a human rights issue and a structural cause of gender inequalities that must be addressed.

  • Dr. Valeria Esquivel, Senior Advisor, Social Policy and Gender, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Paola Panzeri, Senior Policy and Advocacy officer for Employment, Gender equality & Migration, COFACE – Families Europe
  • Antoine de Gabrielli, Founder & CEO Companieros, Founder Happy Men Network – PowerPoint
  • Dr. Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed, Research Fellow, Institute for Development Studies (IDS) – PowerPointVideo
  • Moderator: Valerie Bichelmeier, Main UN Representative, Make Mothers Matter (MMM) – Statement – PowerPoint


5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Closing Remarks

  • Sylvie Durrer, Director, Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) – PowerPoint


Forum Organizing Committee


  • Simone Ovart (ZONTA International), NGO CSW Geneva President & Chair of the Forum
  • Anne Riz (Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas – FAWCO), NGO CSW Geneva Treasurer
  • Elisa Gazzotti (Soka Gakkai International – SGI), NGO CSW Geneva Secretariat
  • Angelamaria Loreto (Ius Primi Viri – IPV), NGO CSW Geneva Vice-President
  • Catherine Bosshart (International Federation of Business & Professional Women), NGO CSW Geneva Vice-President & Convener, Panel on Women in decision-making positions
  • Véronique Goy Veenhuys (Fondation EQUAL-SALARY), Convener, Panel on Equal pay between men and women
  • Valerie Bichelmeier (Make Mothers Matter – MMM), Convener panel on Unpaid Care Work
  • Oleksandra Kunovska Mondoux (World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations): Convener, Panel on Government procurement


For additional information: Contact: forum (at)