Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

"She Means Business" is a new tool to help companies operating in India empower women and promote gender equality.

The new toolkit:

  • Reviews the status of women in 10 sectors across India
  • Outlines key national legal and economic frameworks on gender in the private sector
  • Provides detailed guidance on actions companies can take to empower women
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Despite the fact that there is enough food for everyone, almost 870 million people go hungry every night. 2.3 million children die needlessly because of malnutrition each year and 165 million more have their future potential permanently damaged because they don’t receive the right nutrients at the start of life. This is a human tragedy, with a clear moral imperative for world leaders to act and the UK should play a leading role.

This policy briefing draws on a report, commissioned by the UK Hunger Alliance (HA) and written by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), which investigates smallholder agriculture’s contribution to better nutrition.

Findings suggest that smallholder agricultural development that is environmentally sustainable, can dramatically reduce poverty and hunger. To have greatest impact, investments should:

  • Empower small-scale women farmers
  • Promote small-scale farming including home gardens, small-scale livestock and fish-rearing
  • Complement agricultural programmes with education and nutrition communication, health services, clean water and sanitation.
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What changes do we need to empower women smallholders and achieve food security? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past several decades, but transformative changes in both public policy and practice have been few and far between. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), closing the „gender gap‟ in agriculture – or increasing women‟s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities – could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent, or by 100 to 150 million people.

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What changes do we need to empower women smallholders and achieve food security? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past several decades, but transformative changes in both public policy and practice have been few and far between. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), closing the „gender gap‟ in agriculture – or increasing women‟s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities – could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent, or by 100 to 150 million people.

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Conditional Cash Transfer (CCTs) programmes support extremely poor households with a cash subsidy, on condition that children attend school and health checks. Evaluations have shown CCTs have succeeded in improving children’s school attendance, and nutritional and health indicators. But there is comparatively less evidence on whether CCTs address women’s needs and rights. 

This article provides a summary of the findings of CARE International’s recent research on CCTs impact on gender equity in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
The research showed a number of practical gains for women participants. However, it also found the CCT programmes did not challenge women’s traditional maternal roles, did not directly increase women’s knowledge of their rights or tackle issues such as violence against women.  CCTs need to be more explicitly geared toward women’s social and economic empowerment if they are to be truly effective at lifting women out of poverty.

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The adoption of Cash Transfer programmes in much of the Latin American region is credited with helping to bring poverty reduction about. These programmes are widely promoted as a cost effective and efficient means by which to target vulnerable groups. The model pioneered in Latin America is designed to assist poor households with the cost of schooling, and an innovative feature is that the transfer is given directly to the mothers. It is claimed that this maximises efficiency and achieves positive results because women’s spending in low income households, in contrast to men’s, is largely directed at satisfying children’s and household’s needs. It is also claimed that women benefit from their control over this resource and that their participation in the programme is empowering women. This article provides a summary of some key findings of recent research in Latin America, supported by CARE International UK.

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Reducing poverty and promoting women empowerment through market development in the southern Andean highlands of Peru

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