The Women’s Empowerment Principles are a set of Principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They are the result of a collaboration between UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact. The development of the Principles included an international multi-stakeholder consultation process, which was launched in March 2009.

Subtitled Equality Means Business, the Principles emphasise the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe.
Rather than being prescriptive or a new initiative to which business is asked to subscribe, the Women’s Empowerment Principles seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and business’ role in sustainable development.

As well as being a useful guide for business, it is hoped that the Principles will inform other stakeholders, including governments, in their engagement with business.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles were launched on 9 March 2010 in celebration of International Women’s Day at a day-long conference in New York for the private sector, civil society and Government to explore the application of the Principles in various contexts.  In brief, the Principles are:

1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality;

2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination;

3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers;

4. Promote education, training and professional development for women;

5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women;

6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy; and

7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

Women’s Empowerment Principles in Aotearoa New Zealand


UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand is working with the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women, Zonta International, Diversity Works and the Human Rights Commission, to persuade New Zealand businesses to sign on to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

We aim to show the companies that have not already embraced the Principles that their businesses will be enhanced through employing more women at all levels and in all sectors of their organisation.

White Camellia Awards

To celebrate the work of the Women’s Empowerment Principles signatories, we celebrate White Camellia Awards

Aotearoa New Zealand WEPs Signatories

As at 2020 , there are 59 WEPs signatories and supporters in Aotearoa.  For a list of the signatories, see Aotearoa New Zealand WEPs Signatories.

Interested in joining the Women’s Empowerment Principles?

Find out moreContact Us.