SBE brings Social Business to the Fifth World Forum for Peace in Lugano, Switzerland

SBE was honored to participate in the Fifth World Forum for Peace organized by the Association Culture Ticino Network in Lugano on Nov. 14, 15 and 16. The three-day forum started with opening remarks by the Mayor of Lugano Marco Borradori and the Head of the Office of Legislation and Equal Opportunities in the Parliament of Canton Ticino Marilena Fontaine. It was followed by a round table on the theme “The Current Situation of Women in the World: Where are We?” attended by Lidia Maggi, theologist, Samantha Caccamo, CEO, Social Business Earth, Miriam Camorini, theater director and performer, and moderated by RSI journalist Cinzia Rigamonti.


Ms. Caccamo gave an overview of women in the workforce at national level and from a world perspective. She emphasized that when more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labor force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labor force participation—results in faster economic growth. Globally, women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages. Gender inequalities in time use are still large and persistent in all countries. When paid and unpaid work are combined, women in developing countries work more than men, with less time for education, leisure, political participation and self-care. Despite some improvements over the last 50 years, in virtually every country, men spend more time on leisure each day while women spend more time doing unpaid housework (data UN Women). Ms. Caccamo concluded her talk by stating that gender equality will not be achieved without men’s support. She strongly encouraged men to do their part. A good way to start is for men to include more women in executive positions, board meetings and conferences. Ms. Caccamo stated that on principle she never attends events with all-male panels. In developing countries women should have access to formal financial institutions and saving mechanisms, she added.

SBE offered ten workshops on Social Business during the three-day event to 400 youth ranging from elementary school to middle school and high school. The forum was a great opportunity for local Ticinese youth to learn about social business. At the end of each workshop SBE had a Q&A and overall 60% of youth responded they would like to become a social entrepreneur while 40% would like to do something else when they grow up. This shows that changing the world for the better is of interest to kids as young as 11 or 12 years old. SBE would like to thank Margherita Maffeis, Head of the Association Culture Ticino Network, for the kind invitation to attend this important forum.


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