Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

To mark Financial Inclusion Week, we are shining a spotlight on CARE’s POWER Africa (Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Rural Africa) project and the impact that savings-led financial inclusion has had on 750,000 people from poor households in rural areas of Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The project has produced some rich lessons for practitioners, which we will explore this week in a series of blog posts, starting with the process and impact of linking Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to formal financial services.

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The UK government is increasingly highlighting the link between business and UK aid, and the need for aid spending to benefit the UK. For us at CARE the primary question has to be: does it economically empower poor women?

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For the people we work with and for, the divisions and brick walls between humanitarian and development work do not make sense. So why does the sector keep this division as the norm, rather than the exception?

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Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) have been a cornerstone of CARE International’s programmes for over 25 years, and we have plenty of evidence of their ability to impact women’s lives positively. However, we have also learned that gender norms and power dynamics can reduce the impact on women unless we tackle them directly.

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A CARE Nepal project helped women find a way out of poverty using training and ID cards. One woman in the project got her first citizenship card at age 21 even though she had been married for 8 years already. She told us that, before the project she wasn’t allowed to say her husband’s name. Now, she’s running a business that can pull her out of poverty. Find out more about what this project achieved for women's ecomomic empowerment in Nepal.

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The DFID-flagship Work and Opportunities for Women programme (WOW) has recently completed its inception phase and is now beginning implementation. The programme was originally conceived as a response to the UN High-Level panel report on women’s economic empowerment, which CARE broadly welcomed at the time. The programme is being run by an alliance of CARE, PwC, BSR, Social Development Direct and the University of Manchester, and aims to enhance the economic empowerment of 300,000 women by 2022.

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The SEEP Network’s SG2018: The Power of Savings Groups conference has ended and now the real work begins for the sector. More than 400 policy makers, company and development sector representatives came together in Kigali in May to step up the scale and impact of Savings Groups globally. One of the key learning events at SG2018 was provided by CARE’s POWER Africa project (Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Rural Africa), and here we talk to two members of the POWER Africa team about what they took away from SG2018, and how they believe Savings Groups can be taken forward to empower more women in the future.

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