Women

USAID’s Shari Berenbach and Department of State’s Shelly Porges spoke on working with women, while at a CIPE 2011 conference titled Democracy that Delivers for Women.

Women comprise half of the world’s population, perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, and constitute between 60 and 80 percent of the manufacturing workforce in developing countries. In addition, women business owners make up the majority of entrepreneurs in the informal sector and a large share of the micro-enterprise sector. Yet, despite their extraordinary contributions to socio-economic development, women continue to be marginalized in many countries around the world. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) views women’s empowerment through the prism of building linkages between educational, political, civic, and economic empowerment, where civil society organizations become a leading force to remove barriers and empower women to shape the future of their own countries.

CIPE’s approach to women’s empowerment is guided by a simple principle: women’s empowerment should not be driven by simply bestowing or extending power to women. To be truly empowered, women must develop their power base, advocate for reform, and exert their own leadership to change their countries’ political, cultural, and economical environment.

Women's Empowerment Programs at CIPE

Through its programs and international partnerships, CIPE works with women in these areas:

  • Build the capacity of women’s business associations to advocate for reforms.
  • Strengthen institutions that support the participation of women in the economy such as property rights and rule of law.
  • Educate women entrepreneurs on business management and representation.
  • Reduce barriers to entry such as gender-biased laws and legal discrimination.

Read more about CIPE's women's empowerment programs.

Related Publications

Women Mean Business: Game Changers in South Asia

Article at a glance:

  • Networking and mentorship plays an important role in the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for women and for inclusive economic growth.
  • Mentorship helps to create a safe space to share challenges and disappointments as well as achievements and joys in pushing for policy reform.
  • Scaling up women-owned businesses is an important part of ensuring women’s participation in the economy.

Beyond Aid: the Integration of Sustainable Development in a Coherent International Agenda

Article at a glance:

  • Successful implementation of the post-2015 development agenda will depend on the ability of the many diverse actors and stakeholders to adapt their behavior in support of local leadership, capabilities, and responsibility.
  • The Busan Partnership Declaration outlines an emerging consensus, premised on principles of local ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and mutual transparency and accountability.
  • More than all other non-state actors, the private sector will drive the pursuit of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and job creation and the transition to sustainable patterns of production and consumption.

The Long Road of Economic and Democratic Reform: Marking Ten Years of CIPE in Pakistan

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its Pakistan office, CIPE seeks both to celebrate its accomplishments and learn from the challenges of its projects. CIPE is committed to deep engagement, supporting private sector- and civil society-led programs that can advance reforms to unleash the country’s vast economic potential.

Article at a glance:

  • Policy reform must be rooted in the business community and can be sustained by strong think tanks capable of monitoring and assessing government performance.
  • Strengthening Pakistan’s democratic institutions must involve support for economic journalism to improve citizens’ access to information about reforms.
  • Building links among Pakistani women entrepreneurs, and including them in broader regional networks, is a key factor in improving women’s lives in the country.

CIPE

Center for International Private Enterprise
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