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Women's Economic Empowerment

Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is seen as one of the most important driving forces behind reducing poverty and aiding economic growth. In every part of the world, women are paid less for their work and see fewer benefits of their labour. Discrimination and extra household responsibilities reduce their access to decent work, capital and time needed to improve their businesses, relative to men.

In addition, a range of studies have established that investing in women has higher returns, both economic and non-economic, than investing in men. Women are more likely to share the rewards of these returns with others, such as their children, bringing benefits for their education and health. A key objective of many private sector development (PSD) intervention is therefore to harness the private sector to promote women's economic empowerment, or at the minimum, to do no harm. This page contains useful information and resources for PSD practitioners to achieve this, based on effective programme design, implementation and results measurement.



For a summary of recent key research on constraints to women's economic empowerment and how these may be addressed, download our Synthesis Note

DCED Publications and other key overview and guidance Documents

DCED Publications

DCED members have formed a Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group (WEE WG) to share experiences and develop guidelines of effective practice for interventions supporting women's economic empowerment. DCED publications on the theme are listed below.

Overview and Guidance Documents

Country and Programme Studies

WEE and Business Environment Reform

WEE and Value Chain/ Market Development

WEE and Business Development Services

WEE and Challenge Funds

Useful Resources

Photographs courtesy of Russell Brott, Sudipto Das, Kumar