(The Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group)
WEE 2015 Meeting
A big thank you to all who joined us at the 2015 WEEWG Member Day on September 29! We had a fantastic turnout of existing and new members – with over 40 people in attendance. Overall, our second annual working group meeting was a huge success with member collaboration, learning, networking, and planning for 2016 and beyond.
We have detailed notes on the entire meeting, but here is a quick synopsis. A discussion on next steps and how you can continue to stay involved in the working group follows below.
Introduction & Speed Networking: Introductions featured a summary of WEEWG goals and a recap of work completed in 2015. We also engaged in speed networking, which proved to be a great way to get to know fellow members!
Technical Discussion: Many thanks to Gianluca Nardi from CARE, who gave a fantastic presentation on their draft strategy for women in value chains. Gianluca did a deep dive into key technical areas, such as household gender roles and time-use issues and its effects on economic programming. This session also provided an opportunity for members to discuss their experiences with similar issues and to share feedback on the strategy.
Planning Session: Members engaged in participatory planning to prioritize thematic topics and activities for 2015. Learn more about planning results in the next steps section of this email.
Success Stories: In breakout group sessions, members shared success stories on women’s economic empowerment. Topics included strengthening household access to resources, engaging men as allies, banking women-owned SMEs, promoting economic empowerment and leadership through savings-led groups and cooperatives, the links between economic growth and child marriage, and using ICT approaches to promote economic opportunity. Thanks to all our success story contributors, specifically: Sara Sahlaney from ACDI/VOCA, Anna Mecagi from Women for Women International, Ignacio Estevex from Banyan Global, Kristin Wilcox from Global Communities, Sarah Emerson from Project Concern International, Felicia R. Wilson Young from USAID, Sonia Jordan from Adam Smith International, and Adam Bramm from MEDA.
Next Steps: WEEWG members had the opportunity to sign up for leadership and supporting roles for activities prioritized during the planning session.
WEEWG members prioritized the following activities for 2016:
- Peer review system
- Peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange
- Writing blog posts
- Developing tools or guidelines
As a new initiative, member champions and contributors will now be aligned with specific WEEWG activities. We are looking to our member champions and contributors to play a more active leadership role in driving ideas and initiatives forward, including activity design, implementation and dissemination/learning.
We will be reaching out to member champions and contributors identified during the planning sessions over the course of next week to set up calls on how to move each activity forward. All initial activity-meetings will take place the week of November 16-20. Once meetings are confirmed, we will send out a follow-up email to the entire WEEWG with a schedule of meetings.
If you were not present at the WEEWG Member Day and would like to serve as a Member Champion or Contributor to any of the above activities, we encourage you to get involved and join these meetings!
Finally, specific topics that were identified as WEEWG priorities include: agriculture & food security, education and training, women’s financial inclusion, and engaging and working with men. Close contenders in terms of interest included: inclusive business and wage work, monitoring and evaluation, risk mitigation and shocks, and inclusive market systems development.
Emilie Gettliffe & Lis Meyers