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EU gender champion leads ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ at the Philippine Stocks Exchange

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

In celebration of both National Women’s Month and International Women’s Day, the European Union partnered with the Philippines Stock Exchange today in a “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event at the Philippine Stock Exchange in BGC Taguig City.

The event signifies the commitment of the business sectors to practice in their company in giving women greater equality and leadership in the markets.

Her Excellency Austrian Ambassador to the Philippines Bita Rasoulian, the EU Gender Champion in the Philippines led the bell ringing, said that gender equality is at the core of European values.

“The EU and its Member States are at the forefront of the protection, fulfillment, and enjoyment of human rights by women and girls and strongly promote them in external relations”, the Austrian envoy said.

Ambassador Bita also added that the EU strongly believes that gender equality will contribute to faster-growing economies. And the European Union thanked the Philippines Stock Exchange for signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles which highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies, establish more stable and just societies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights, improve quality of life for women, men, families, and communities, and propel business’ operations and goals.

In closing, Ambassador Rasoulian also called for an urgent need for a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response at the global, regional and local levels, in order to deliver on Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals and gender-related targets. And she underscored that the ceremony today is part of that ambition.

Stock exchanges are uniquely positioned to influence their market in a way few other actors can. It was the 5th time PSE had participated in the annual global campaign, timed with International Women’s Day (March 8).

The regional bell-ringing initiative is spearheaded by the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in partnership with the European Union, contributes to the United Nations’ broader efforts to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 5 on Gender Equality, which is identified as one of the four SDGs stock exchanges are best positioned to support.

Similar Ring the Bell events are taking place across the Asia-Pacific region, including in Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The first bell for gender equality was rung on March 2 this year by Nasdaq in New York City.

This endeavor is the framework of WeEmpowerAsia, the UN Women-European Union women economic empowerment programme, and in partnership with the UN Global Compact local network.

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