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The entry of women into the workplace has enriched many businesses and the evidence is clear. ‘Gender equality is critical to business performance and sustainable economic growth globally’.

Prof Muigai

At a recent Gender Equality and Employee Rights forum hosted by the Global Compact Network Kenya at the Villa Rosa Hotel in Nairobi, themed to make Global Goals Local Business, it emerged that there is a dire need to support more women into the workplace now more than ever before.

Speaking at the Making Global Goals Local Business Forum (MGGLB), organized by the Global Compact Network Kenya was Prof Githu Muigai, the former Attorney General and Member of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, who noted that Businesses should take pride in having a well looked after workforce and not have to choose between human rights and development.

The forum aimed to help accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) spotlighting on Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3) at the national level.

The UNDP Kenya Resident Representative, Walid Badawi, noted the importance of driving action for SDGs and Young Business Leaders as a catalyst to sustainable economic development.

“Unleashing the full potential of women and girls could add more than $12 Trillion to global GDP,” said Mr Badawi.

Ms Banu Khan, UN Women Programme Analyst on Women’s Economic Empowerment also noted that it is crucial for businesses to speak about sexual harassment when talking about achieving the SDGs. 

She said; “In order to foster good ethical practices, businesses are encouraged to embrace and implement the SDGs.”

As part of the Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, this year Global Compact Network Kenya recognized, through an awards ceremony, a class of 4 professionals, aged 35 and under, for their work in advancing the SDGs in their companies through innovative approaches. 

Dr Joyce Sitonik, Head of Clinic Operations at AAR Healthcare was recognized as a pioneer for good health and well-being. Safaricom’s Senior Manager Sustainability, Ms Karen Basiye, was recognized as a pioneer for partnerships for the goals. Mr Adamson Karuhi, Marketing Officer at Green Pencils was recognized as a pioneer for tackling plastic waste through innovation whereas Ms Marion Wambua, Senior Communication & CSR Executive at Airtel Kenya, was recognized as a pioneer for quality education through access to technology.

Global Compact Network Kenya Executive Director, Ms Judy Njino said; “The business case for ethical business practices is now settled. Let us all now work to make it a reality.

She further pointed out that businesses have minimum responsibilities to meet and respect human rights which can and ought to be internalized by both SMEs and large companies. 

Also present at the forum was Simon Odhiambo, General Manager Corporate Affairs, who said: “Respecting the human rights to non-discrimination including sexual and reproductive health is not only a business responsibility but also a good investment. At Kakuzi Plc, we have an elaborate Sexual Harassment Awareness Reporting and Prevention Program (SHARP) to promote a safe work environment.”

Dr Joyce Sitonik recognized as an SDG Pioneer on Good Health and Well-Being

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Nairobi, Kenya, 16 September — Today, the United Nations Global Compact recognized Dr Joyce Sitonik as one of ten 2019 SDG Pioneers — business leaders, who are using business as a force for good to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These SDG Pioneers were judged by an expert panel comprised of representatives of Government, business and civil society. The selection criteria included the individuals' commitment to embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their companies' core strategies, their efforts to advance the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.

The SDG Pioneers programme is part of the UN Global Compact Making Global Goals Local Business campaign. In 2019, the search for SDG Pioneers focused on young professionals, aged 35 and under, working at any level in a company participating in the UN Global Compact, who are advancing the SDGs through their work.

"Four years in, it is clear that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is much slower than it should be," said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "By recognizing and encouraging young business leaders who are driving transformative solutions in their respective sectors, we have the opportunity to drive truly systemic change and shift the world onto a more sustainable path."

"This is truly a wonderful surprise! We are really excited about this and reiterate our commitment to the SDGs and the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact as a company. This recognition reaffirms the vision of AAR Healthcare (Kenya) Ltd to be the healthcare provider of choice for quality and innovative healthcare solutions in Africa. Thank you!" said Dr Joyce Sitonik.

The 2019 SDG Pioneers will be recognized on 25 September as part of the UN Global Compact Leaders Week at the UN Headquarters in New York.

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New York, 15 July 2019: This year Kenya delivered its Second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. The report covered the progress on Kenya's implementation of the 2030 agenda, and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The High-Level Political Forum 2019 was held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the UN Headquarters from 9-18 July 2019. It was convened under the theme 'Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality'.

Following the delivery of Kenya's VNR, Judy Njino, Executive Director of Global Compact Network Kenya and Chair of UN Global Compact Africa Region Network Council, made submissions during the HLPF session on 'Four years of VNRs: what have we learnt in implementing the SDGs?'. Ms Njino shared VNR added value, challenges and lessons learnt, as well as highlighted activities taken at the regional and national levels to make progress on the Goals.

Recognizing that the challenges of sustainable development require collective and complementary actions from all actors of society, the United Nations Global Compact helps companies align their business strategies with the Global Goals while providing platforms for catalyzing action at the local level.

Through the Global Compact Network Kenya, companies can scale up their contribution to the implementation of local SDG Agendas by engaging in public-private multi-stakeholder policy dialogues as well as partnerships with Government, UN system, civil society and communities to advance national plans of action on the SDGs and contribute to the construction of regional SDG Agendas.

At the Ministerial session, Ms Njino called for moving from awareness creation to action, and for companies to deliver impact.