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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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Building a Movement around Women’s Economic Empowerment

by on Nov 10, 2014  |  posted in Women's Economic Empowerment  |  0 Comments
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All across the globe, donors, development practitioners, and local communities are harnessing their resources and convening powers to accelerate inclusive economic development. Advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment is now considered a key driver towards inclusiveness and economic growth. The World Bank calls empowering women ‘smart economics’, and, in only two years, over 800 CEOs from around the world have signed up to support  Women’s Empowerment Principles, reflecting their recognition that gender equality is good for business.

The momentum is building. Women and men around the world are working together to bring about change and advance equality. Yet women still face major barriers to their empowerment. Women continue to be paid less for their work and confront daily discrimination in many places.

It is becoming evident that harnessing this momentum to create lasting change means that change makers need more platforms to convene, discuss, and learn. Too often, communities and practitioners are tackling these complex issues on separately, isolated from the enormous amount of knowledge and wisdom that is being generated alongside them. Linking these champions for change to each other through networks can catalyze, diversify, and affirm good practices.

Last month, the SEEP Network convened close to 40 practitioners, each of whom are playing key roles in leading the global movement to energize women’s economic empowerment. SEEP received over 150 responses from a member-wide survey indicating interest in the issue. The group came together at the 2014 SEEP Annual Conference to discuss whether or not a new working group was needed and, if launched, what would be the main goals and activities? After reviewing current practices and resources, the group agreed that a new working group is needed to champion the cause. A collective global platform on this topic cuts across economic development interventions, and is needed to bring attention to and strengthen collaboration with other working groups and knowledge networks on this topic. The group decided to focus on the following priorities:

  • CONNECT. Build working group membership and connecting with each other.
  • SHARE. Share and review women's economic empowerment tools and resources.
  • THRIVE. Learn and expand our knowledge.
Please click here to view the first year work plan for the SEEP Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group (WEEWG). I will be co-facilitating this group with Christine Faveri from MEDA and we are looking forward to an exciting year of activities.

The group will need all the help it can get to accomplish its goals for 2014-15. What can you do to be part of the WEEWG group?

  • Join! Sign up here to the WEEWG to learn more about women’s economic empowerment and receive newsletters, event announcements, and group member opportunities.
  • Contribute! When you sign up to join the WEEWG mailing group, you can also become a contributor. Contributors help plan events and contribute to our network activities for 2014-2015. This could include taking part in occasional peer reviews and sharing of resources.
  • Member Champions! You can also become a Member Champion when you sign up for the WEEWG. Member champions will work with the two group facilitators to identify key learning priorities, get the word out about the group’s activities, actively contribute to peer reviews, blogging or identification of new partnerships and activities.

Erin Markel is the co-facilitator of the Women's Economic Empowerment Working Group. She is also Principal Consultant at MarketShare Associates.

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