(The Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group)
WEE 2016 Meeting
Thank you to all those who joined us at the 2016 WEEWG Member Day on September 19! We had a fantastic turnout of existing and new members – with over 35 people in attendance. Overall, our third annual working group meeting was a huge success with member collaboration, learning, networking, and planning for 2017 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: Celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the WEEWG, introductions featured a synopsis of past accomplishments and an agreement of future goals. We also engaged in a community-building exercise, which proved to be a great way to connect with fellow members!
2017 WEE Conference: A great thank you to Linda Jones of MEDA, who began our meeting with an excellent update on the upcoming 2017 WEE Global Learning Forum and preliminary creation of a multi-organizational Steering Committee. Linda shared the overarching vision of a 3-day conference, aimed at the promotion of evidenced based research and outlined themes relating to economic vs. non-economic empowerment. This also provided the perfect opportunity to discuss next steps and generate member feedback and discussion. Stay tuned for more information on the WEE Conference in early 2017!
Achievements: Members engaged in an interactive discussion highlighting the achievements accomplished by the WEEWG in 2016. Completed activities included the establishment of the SEEP Member Survey to streamline WG initiatives, the launch of the peer to peer exchange, the "Lamppost" blog series on women's economic empowerment, the development of three briefs on women's economic empowerment in agriculture for the USAID/Leveraging Economic Opportunities Project, and the expanding influence of shared WEE tools and resources. We also answered member questions and discussed ideas for the WG moving forward, including how to tap into the WEEWG to provide case studies and technical support in the development of future resources.
Success Stories: In breakout group sessions, members shared success stories on women’s economic empowerment. Topics included optimizing the WEAI Intervention guide, a multi-faceted approach to address nutrition and food security along with income generation, engaging men as allies, increasing women's economic participation in the transportation sector at the regional level, and combining capacity building and inclusive market development. Thanks to all our success story contributors, specifically: ACDI/VOCA, Women for Women International, Nathan Associates, NCBA/CLUSA, and Project Concern International.
Technical Workshop: Elise Young and Jen Linkletter from FHI360 hosted an engaging presentation on the USAID Women's Economic Empowerment Framework. The pair solicited input from SEEP WEEWG members to inform the implementation section of the framework, and asked members to share industry barriers and 'Best Practices' on how to overcome them. They facilitated an interactive activity of gender mainstreaming and integration at the HQ and field office levels, as well as the relevant external vs. internal challenges this presents. Members named lack of support from senior leadership, budgeting limitations, and staff resistance as key challenges, and then discussed solutions to these issues, as well as existing tools that can be useful in combating them.
Next Steps & 2017 Work Planning: WEEWG members had the opportunity to sign up for leadership and supporting roles for activities prioritized during the planning session, including webinars, communications, media and blogs, peer to peer exchange, and the development of new tools/resources.
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 or contact Facilitator, Lis Meyers!
Erin Markel & Lis Meyers