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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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Calling All Champions for Change!

by on Sep 2, 2015  |  posted in Annual Conference, Women's Economic Empowerment  |  0 Comments

This year, the SEEP Network is celebrating 30 years of bringing experienced practitioners together to find innovative solutions to improving access to economic opportunities for vulnerable populations. Since 1985, the SEEP Network has worked to bring together great minds from multiple sectors to develop new theories, practices, and tools to make markets more inclusive. As many of you already know, the SEEP Network’s 2015 Annual Conference will be hosted this year in Washington, DC from September 28th- October 1nd at the Renaissance Arlington Capitol View Hotel. Focusing on the themes of inclusion and resilience, the conference will facilitate a discussion on the productive engagement in market systems of still-marginalized populations (including women, poor producers, and otherwise vulnerable or disadvantaged households). Recognizing the need for more platforms in which practitioners promoting women’s economic empowerment can gather, the SEEP Network has devoted a significant portion of its 2015 Annual Conference to the topic of Women’s Economic Empowerment. The conference will be a venue for practitioners to come together to learn, discuss, and catalyze their knowledge into actionable changes. The conference will host the SEEP Network’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group (WEEWG) meeting, run a series of six technical track discussions on women’s economic empowerment, and one of two plenary sessions will focus on the topic.

First, the 2nd WEEWG Annual Face-to-Face Meeting will be held on September 29th between 12pm and 5pm.  In its first year of existence, the working group has grown to include over 220 members from around the globe, and across various sectors and organizations.  The demand for the group and the active participation of many SEEP members prove the growing interest in women’s economic empowerment as a key topic amongst economic development practitioners.  To learn more about the activities of the group during its first year, please visit the WEEWG website. This meeting will include discussions around strategic planning for the 2015 – 2016 year, chances to network with members, and a training on a key technical issue faced by group members (which was selected through a group surveying process and will be announced when the final agenda is released). For more details on the agenda of the 2nd Annual WEEWG Meeting please click here and an agenda will be posted a few weeks prior to the conference.

Second, the conference will host an exciting series of six technical discussions on women’s economic empowerment. These will include:

Click on each link above to read more details on the tracks and the speakers!

Lastly, one of the two plenary sessions is titled Beyond Access: Catalyzing Women’s Economic Empowerment in Market Systems.  Here the group of panelists will address how market access is increasingly recognized as being insufficient to creating sustainable systemic change. Women need the interest, voice, and capacity to take action on new economic opportunities. The combined effect of access and agency offers new insights into promoting systemic change. Key questions to be addressed in the plenary session include:

  • How is promoting women’s economic empowerment different from gender integration?
  • What types of interventions have successfully enhanced both women’s agency and access to resources?  Do systemic and scalable solutions exist?
  • What are the spill-over effects on a broader community or system when working to empower women?
  • What are the strategies used and developed by local women themselves that promote their resilience and empowerment?
  • What is the role of the private sector in promoting women’s economic empowerment?

With all of these activities, we see this year’s conference as a tremendous opportunity to meet, discuss, organize, and innovate around women’s economic empowerment.  We hope you will join us!

If you are ready to join the conversation, please register here for the conference today!

For more information about the SEEP Network and the 2015 Annual Conference, visit http://www.seepnetwork.org/


Erin Markel is a Principal Consultant at MarketShare Associates (MSA) and the co-facilitator of The SEEP Network’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group. She specializes in market systems and household economic strengthening programs, with a focus on the empowerment of women and youth. Erin has led a variety of consultancies including work with the USAID LEO initiative, World Bank, Plan, CARE and the Aga Khan Foundation and holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.

Celebrating 30 years, the SEEP Network’s 2015 Annual Conference (Sept 30-Oct 1) has created a dynamic track on Women’s Economic Empowerment designed to examine our key assumptions around how to best connect women’s economic empowerment to social and political empowerment while helping to increase the adaptive capacity of women to sustain economic gains for themselves and their families. 

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