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UN Women partners technology leaders to launch GICC

By Haruna Gimba

The UN Women said it will launch the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) on September 14 in New York City.

This unique alliance with 22 partners from private sector, non-profit organizations and academic institutions will work over a two-year period to drive industry-wide action to make innovation and technology work better for young women and girls.

The Coalition has the support of a diverse set of global industry leaders, such as BHP Billiton, CISCO, Citi, Dell, Ericsson, Facebook, General Electric, HP Inc., Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, LinkedIn, Pax Worldwide Management, PwC, SAP, Sony, South32 and Statoil, all working together to advance the gender equality agenda.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

The Coalition also includes academic institutions like MIT Solve and New York Academy of Sciences, as well as organizations like Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship (South Africa) and Ellevate Network.

The global partnership will build market awareness of the potential for innovations that meet the needs of women through research and advocacy.

The Coalition will also identify the key industry-specific barriers to women’s and girls’ advancement in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship; and work collaboratively to identify key actions to address these barriers and needs.

“Such actions may include sharing good practices, developing capacity and investing in specific innovations through targeted support,” a statement issued to newsmen stated.

The UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities to reach those who are the most likely to be left out of the benefits of progress.

“They can break women out of isolation and create a market for their innovative ideas and products. This is an important asset for gender equality and women’s empowerment, but it also brings broader benefits to society.

“Through the Global Innovation Coalition for Change and similar partnerships we can bring together the best of academic brain power and research, industry practical know-how, and civil society’s drive and reach to creatively disrupt the status quo,” she added.

Health Reporters gathered that the innovation and technology offer enormous opportunity for women, girls and societies to thrive. UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change is an important step in creating such partnerships to bring about transformative change in the lives of women and girls.

Attended by senior industry and UN leaders, the inaugural meeting of the Coalition will take place on the margins of the UN General Assembly on 14 September, at the SAP Leonardo Centre in New York City.

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