Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

My colleagues and I have spent a considerable share of our time during the past few months in discussions with our private sector partners, figuring out a common ground to work together on women’s economic empowerment (WEE). It can be an exciting but also somehow frustrating process as the potential scope of WEE interventions and the business case are always extremely broad, but the resources to invest are limited. For that reason, prioritisation is paramount. Ahead of the session on Systems Change for Women’s Economic Empowerment: How to work with companies? on 24 May at the SEEP Network Learning Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Bangkok, here are some thoughts and lessons learned.

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The number of women in the world who still lack access to formal financial services stands at 1 billion. While this figure is going down, the discrimination that women face compared to men, in terms of their access to and control over loans, savings and bank account services, continue to hold women back. If we are to see this 1 billion figure drop down to zero, then private sector organisations, governments and civil society organisations must work together to tackle the barriers slowing up progress, and invest in solutions to target women’s equal inclusion in the formal financial arena.

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By choosing to spend two minutes reading this article, you stand with the many millions of others around the world who are choosing not just to ‘make a difference’ for women’s economic empowerment, but who are choosing, in fact, to be that difference. The answer to my own question is that simple: everybody can make a difference when it comes to ensuring women have as equal access and control over economic resources as men.

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Women in Bangladesh used solidarity to increase wages and get more food at home. Find out how.

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Women in CARE Ghana’s PROMISE programme eat three times more soybeans than they did in 2012, and are four times more likely to be involved in household decision-making. Find out how.

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Given DFID’s commitment to the Global Goals and to labour standards (eg support of the ETI, guidance within CDC), why doesn’t DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy talk about Decent Work?

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Demand for financial services from low-income groups is at an all-time high. Some of that demand is by informal savings and loans groups – including CARE’s 5 million Village Savings and Loan Association members – who want access to quality group bank accounts and mobile-based solutions. East Africa is leading the world in setting up informal savings groups and linking them to formal financial services. The recent East Africa Linkage Summit provided exactly the kinds of insights that other regions can learn from to scale up financial inclusion in 2017.

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