Waka Mere: Advancing Workplace Gender Equality 2017 – 2019

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A WEE Gateway Case Study, 2022

From 2017 – 2019, the IFC ran the Waka Mere programme on the Solomon Islands, which focused on advancing workplace gender equality. In partnership with 15 large local companies, several interventions were implemented throughout the 2-year period. Solomon Airlines directed their efforts to addressing gender-based violence (GBV).

Scaling the Financial Inclusion Pyramid in Egypt 2018 – 2020

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A WEE Gateway Case Study, 2022

AWEF undertook a financial sector mapping to identify the constraints to women’s access to, and use of, financial services while harnessing the power of digital financial services to drive female financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

By making financial services more widely available and lowering costs and barriers to access finance, financial technology (fintech) can democratise financial services to the masses.

Regional Economic Empowerment of Women Project, Lebanon 2010 – 2014

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A WEE Gateway Case Study, 2022

The Regional Economic Empowerment of Women Project (REEWP) focused on promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment through value chain promotion in Jordan, Lebanon, The Palestinian Territories and Tunisia. It was part of EconoWin – a regional GIZ programme improving the conditions for economic integration of women. REEWP has developed and implemented a unique participatory and gender-sensitive value chain approach, which contributed significantly to the project’s success in empowering women to work in higher echelons of value chains.

Alliances Programme Georgia 2008 – 2021

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A WEE Gateway Case Study, 2022

The Alliances Programme is one of the very first interventions that has taken conscious efforts to mainstream gender and focus on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in a market development programme. There are several key lessons we can learn from the way this programme applied a gender lens throughout their project lifecycle.

Feminist Perspectives on Care Work in the MENA Region – Gender at Work (2020)

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Gender at Work, 2020 – 18 pages

This report provides feminist perspectives on care work in the MENA region because there is a dearth of credible studies and statistics on this topic. Feminist activists and scholars concur that the care economy is vital to the well-being and livelihoods of communities in the Arab region, especially where these communities encounter challenges in securing their livelihoods. Care work – essentially the care of others, whether paid or unpaid – is non-transferable, undervalued, poorly recognised and forever constituting a barrier to women’s and girls’ advancement. The report argues there is a serious need to assess the value of care work within the region as a tool for evidence-based advocacy. It also deems it crucial to incorporate an intersectional framework into any analysis of care work. Finally, it states that economic dynamics must come into play in any care work arrangements.

Gender-lens Investments Enable Women Entrepreneurs to Thrive in Pakistan – IFC (2020)

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IFC, 2020 – 8 pages

In 2019, IFC invested $2 million into Sarmayacar, supporting start-ups in Pakistan through one of the first Venture Capital funds in the country. Additional Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) funding was specifically leveraged to support Sarmayacar to invest with a gender lens. This partnership aims to demonstrate the viability of investments in women-led tech start-ups in Pakistan. We-Fi has enabled the de-risking of entrepreneurial financing for women entrepreneurs and Sarmayacar benefits from this increased support by being able to access a larger investment-ready pipeline of women-led opportunities. IFC’s and We-Fi’s support to Sarmayacar led to the development of a strategy using the principles of gender-lens investing, including the adoption of gender-related goals to actively source and develop investments in women-led companies. At its inception in 2018, Sarmayacar’s pipeline of women-owned companies was less than 10%. In 2020, the fund’s pipeline has increased to 42%.

How Do Intra-household Dynamics Change When Assets Are Transferred to Women? Evidence from BRAC’s “Targeting the Ultra Poor” Programme in Bangladesh – IFPRI & ILRI (2013)

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IFPRI and ILRI, 2013 – 4 pages

This study aimed to explore how BRAC’s “Targeting the Ultra Poor” programme affected intra-household dynamics in beneficiary households. It investigates men’s and women’s ownership of and control over various assets and roles in intra-household decision-making. It also aimed to understand men’s and women’s perceptions of these changes.

Main results:

  • The programme significantly increased household ownership of livestock. The largest rise was in livestock owned by women (including cattle, typically thought to be “men’s assets”), with corresponding increases in women’s livestock control.
  • It shifted women’s work inside the home and increased women’s workloads, reducing their mobility. However, women reported preferring this outcome to the stigma of working outside the home.
  • The programme decreased women’s voices in a range of decisions. While their livestock ownership increased, women’s decision-making power over their income, purchases for themselves, and household budgeting were significantly reduced.

Women’s Empowerment and Socio-Economic Outcomes: Impacts of the Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Programme – WB (2014)

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The World Bank, 2014 – 33 pages

The paper explores whether one of the largest programmes in the world for women’s empowerment and rural livelihoods, the Indira Kranti Patham in Andhra Pradesh, India, has had an impact on the economic and social wellbeing of households that participated in the programme. Research showed that there were several major impacts:

  • First, the Indira Kranti Patham programme increased participants’ access to loans, which allowed them to accumulate some funds, invest in education, and increase total expenditures (for the poorest and poor).
  • Women who participated in the programme had more freedom to go places and were less afraid to disagree with their husbands; the women participated more in village meetings and their children were slightly more likely to attend school.
  • Programme participants were significantly more likely to benefit from various targeted government programmes, most important the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, but also midday meals in schools, hostels, and housing programmes. This was an important way in which the programme contributed to the improved well-being of participants.

Understanding Unpaid Care Work to Empower Women in Market Systems Approaches – BEAM (2016)

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BEAM Exchange, 2016 – 51 pages

This document is intended to support market systems programmes to understand and address unpaid care work by:

  • guiding practitioners on approaches to diagnose constraints related to unpaid care.
  • providing tools to carry these out.
  • outlining with real examples how programmes have designed interventions to target problematic aspects of care provision based on facilitation approaches using systems thinking.

For programmes that target women’s empowerment, heavy and unequal unpaid care will likely be a system-level constraint. By understanding how programmes’ interventions interact with existing care work and responsibilities, they can use the potential of systemic responses to improve both market operations and livelihood outcomes.

Women’s Pathways to the Digital Sector: Stories of challenges and opportunities – BMZ (2017)

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BMZ, 2017 – 52 pages

This study aims at understanding the role of ICT in realising women’s rights, gender equality and WEE. It identifies the challenges and opportunities for women and girls to partake in ICT education and employment. Furthermore, the study portrays 22 women working in different roles in ICT, coming from developing as well as emerging countries from all continents.

Main takeaways:

  • There are too few opportunities that target girls outside of formal education.
  • Cost is one of the most significant barriers to initial access to, and use of, ICT for women.
  • The challenges for girls and women participating in the digital sector are compounded by content considerations even when affordable technology access is possible. Firstly, there is a distinct lack of content, or content missing in local languages, which facilitates the development of digital literacy skills. Moreover, there is a dearth of localised content for women online, that corresponds to their needs and interests.
  • The overall lack of support for girls and women’s engagement with ICT in every life stage can negatively impact their ability to develop the self-confidence needed to access and use ICT.
  • Women contend with several socially constructed barriers which impact their ability to work in the digital sector.
  • There is a need to initiate and increase the frequency of measurements for the gender digital divide in terms of access to and use of ICT.