Browse by Theme: Women's Economic Empowerment

CARE has been working with Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) since we first launched the model in Niger in 1991. Over the years, VSLAs have reached more 7.6 million members, 81% of them women. The economic impacts of the VSLA groups are well documented. Less formally documented is the impact that VSLAs have on women themselves and on the social fabric of their communities.

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This report, based on research into CARE humanitarian interventions in Niger, analyses whether community-led savings groups and income-generation activities can represent a way not only to respond to crises, but also to increase women’s economic empowerment, even in highly fluid contexts.

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Women still have fewer economic rights, less access to economic opportunities and less control over economic resources than men due to a range of social, legal and political inequalities. Women’s economic empowerment (WEE) is one of four priority areas for CARE’s work, as set out in the CARE 2020 Programme Strategy. This report articulates why and how we work to drive women’s economic empowerment, our reach and impact to date and some lessons we have learned along the way.

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Women on the Move is a CARE regional strategy to mobilise savings groups in West Africa, so that women and girls can assert their basic economic and social rights. Evidence has shown that women-led savings groups are a powerful platform for promoting women’s economic empowerment, women’s voices and gender equality. Our aim is that 8 million women and girls between the age of 15 and 64 will be economically and socially empowered through savings groups by 2020. This report examines our progress in reaching that goal and shares some lessons learned so far.

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In recent years, governments across sub-Saharan Africa have deepened their engagement with savings groups, recognising the potential of the community-based microfinance model to contribute to national development agendas. This report, based on an extensive desk review and interviews with 46 government representatives from 22 countries, identifies and describes 74 government initiatives related to policies, regulation and programming in the savings group sector, across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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CARE’s Regional Applied Economic Empowerment Hub in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region uses evidence from the ground, research, regional experience, and global thought leaders’ know-how to contribute to organisational and sectoral knowledge and innovation. The Hub is examining the challenges around efforts to bridge the gap between humanitarian assistance, development, and peace, to effectively eradicate poverty and achieve social justice, with a particular emphasis on empowering women and girls.

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Summary of the research by CARE’s Regional Applied Economic Empowerment Hub in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region on Doing Nexus Differently.

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