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WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT: SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SUSTAINABLE CHANGE - Almas Jiwani delivered a riveting keynote address at high level conference co-organized by the IMF, Government of Canada and UN at National Assembly in São Tomé & Príncipe

SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE, Aug. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- High level conference on Africa Women’s Day was held under the leadership of the President of the National Assembly and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This third and final part of a series of initiatives that UN undertook jointly with the IMF and the Government of São Tomé to draw attention to the significant role of women’s participation in the economy, particularly as a driver of economic growth.

The challenges facing women in starting a business include: discouraging social and cultural attitudes, lower first-level entrepreneurial skills, greater difficulty in accessing start-up capital and financing arrangements, smaller and less efficient business networks and policy frameworks. These problems tend to paralyze female entrepreneurship. Overcoming these obstacles involves using traditional tools such as training and grants, but these approaches need to be broadened as they often do not reach the target female population.” said Almas Jiwani.

The government of São Tomé and Príncipe, the UN, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with financing from the High Commission of Canada convened a high level event in São Tomé on July 31, 2019 with goals to carry out a national dialogue on boosting female empowerment and participation in the formal economy, increasing financial inclusion, and addressing informal sector issues through concrete policy measures.

“The theme of this conference means to the UN in Sao Tome and Principe the commitment to fight against some of the greatest challenges of our time: poverty, inequality, the end of violence and discrimination against women and girls, regardless of where or how they live, so that no one is left behind. We are aware of Almas Jiwani’s international recognition as a champion of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, her working history, core values and her ideas made her a perfect leader to address our high-level conference to emphasize the importance of gender equality and the deep and long-lasting effects from which a society can benefit through empowering women & girls.” said Zahira Virani, UN Resident Coordinator.

Not all self-employed people, and women in particular, are necessarily entrepreneurs. Some individuals working as freelancers for only one customer are more likely to be identified as self-employed in labor force surveys, rather than in the general workforce. In other statistical data, working for a single customer is not defined as and included in entrepreneurship data,” added Almas Jiwani.

About Almas Jiwani Foundation
The vision of The Almas Jiwani Foundation is to empower women, girls and marginalized communities through focused projects that directly address disparities in equality, education, entrepreneurship and energy rights. The Foundation aims to bridge inequalities through the fostering of relationships among the various actors and stakeholders in global issues, and provide a platform for discourse and action.

About UN Sao Tome and Principe
United Nations in Sao Tome and Principe advocates for change and links the country to the knowledge, experience and resources that people need to improve their lives. However, such an ambitious vision requires an organization that meets or transcends the highest quality and effectiveness requirements expected by it or its partners. Our work revolves around a reorganized set of results that reflect the priorities and needs of Sao Tome and Principe to ensure attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030.


Zina Ibrahim
Almas Jiwani Foundation

Taiye Fawole
UN Communication and Advocacy Officer
Resident Coordinator Office
São Tomé et Príncipe