International Women’s Day
Ring the Bell for Gender Equality – IWD 2019
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
8th March 2019, Kingston, Jamaica: An annual global collaboration across stock exchanges to ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ saw for the first time, the Jamaica Stock Exchange participating as the sole Caribbean in observance of International Women’s Day 2019. The Win-Win: Gender Equality means Good Business Programme which is a strategic partnership between UN Women, The European Union and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) partnered with the Jamaica Stock Exchange, IDB-Invest, and significantly with the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, ringing the bell to declare their support for gender equality and equal opportunities for women and men.
Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean, Alison McLean said: “Empowering women in the workplace generate financial returns”. There is a strong bottom line to be gained by balancing for better. Research shows that companies with at least one female director have better share price performance and return on equity, and companies with more than one woman on the board return 3.7% a year over those that have none. Having at least 30% of women in leadership positions added 6% to net profit margin. 
The Honourable Olivia Grange stressed: “The evidence is clear that women must be an equal part of the talent pool in order to recognize their full potential. That is critical to ensure that our women and girls have an equal place in businesses across Jamaica.”
Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head Of Delegation, European Union to Jamaica added: “Much more must be done to empower and facilitate women's inclusion and in so doing ensure achievement of SDG5. This is why in partnership with UN Women and ILO; we are engaged in the Win-Win: Gender Equality means Good Business Programme. Equality between women and men is one of the European Union's fundamental values. Working alongside our partners we are supporting several initiatives that defend women's rights and eliminate barriers to their equal participation in all aspects of social, economic and political life.”
IDB Representative to Jamaica, Therese Turner-Jones advised that: “IDB Invest in partnership with ESADE have launched the study – ‘Investment with a gender focus: How finances can accelerate gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean’. This is the first detailed research on investment opportunities to increase gender equality in the region through the private sector”.
UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day 2019 was ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’. The theme focused on innovative ways in which the private sector could advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure.
The Caribbean partners joined the global lead partnership which includes IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs. The event is to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development. This is the fifth consecutive year the event was hosted and involved more than 75 stock exchanges around the world.
 Sustainable Stock Exchanges (2018) How Stock Exchanges can advance Gender Equality