The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has partnered with Global Compact Network Kenya (GCNK), UN Women Kenya and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to join over 110 stock exchanges globally to Ring the Bell for Gender Equality in commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
In an event graced by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko the four corporations joined to support women on the International Women’s Day which was on 8th March 2022.
“The government is prioritizing green climate funding to promote the growing need of businesses to advance technology and innovation on climate adaptation. This ensures that people, communities and our economy have the necessary resilience to recover from climate change devastations,” Keriako Tobiko said in the event.
The event, held for the eighth (8th) consecutive year, seeks to raise awareness about the role and opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.
On his part, the NSE Chief Executive, Geoffrey Odundo said that stock exchanges have an important role as educators and information gateway for the market in order to advance climate resiliency in their markets.
“As a securities exchange, we are uniquely positioned to influence our market in a way few other actors can,” Mr Odundo said, “Climate change poses both risks and opportunities to financial markets as a whole, and stock exchanges have the opportunity to prepare for these changes by creating more resiliency in our markets.”
The theme for the 2022 Ring the Day 2022 – “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” recognizes the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.
“The UN Global Compact encourages companies to sign on to our Ten Principles, focused on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. A principles-based approach is the ultimate tool to ensure equality for women and girls, to advance sustainable development and to build a just and equitable world.” said Global Compact Network Kenya, Executive Director, Ms. Judy Njino.”
“The United Nations Sustainable Securities Exchange will be launching a guidance report on how exchanges can advance gender equality, which is shaped by examples from stock, bond, and derivatives exchanges around the world, including the NSE, as well as security market regulators and subject matter experts.” Ms. Njino added.
The NSE’s participation in the past seven years of ringing the bell for gender equality has made progress by:
- Promoting women’s access to finance and encouraging women to invest in public markets.
- Developing new products, such as sustainability-linked bonds with gender criteria and gender bonds.
- Signing and adopting the Women’s Empowerment Principles, which offer guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community
- Promoting gender equality listing criteria and gender data disclosure
Speaking during the event, UN Women Kenya, Country Deputy Representative said “Empowering women economically, helps to promote gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. The private sector is a key driver of economic growth through innovation, capital formation, and productivity while the government’s role is to enable this economic growth, through the right policies.”