The Role of Advocacy in Building Democracies that Deliver for Women

Originally posted on CIPE’s Development Blog by Jon Custer on Februrary 29, 2012

CIPE has long recognized the value of business associations to articulate and advocate for the interests of entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Women entrepreneurs and business owners face many of the same regulatory, legal, and policy issues as businesses headed by men. However, despite driving much of the world’s economic growth, women also face unique obstacles that hinder their participation in the economy, especially in leadership roles. Of the world’s 500 largest companies, only 13 (less than 3%) have a female chief executive officer.

In this week’s Economic Reform Feature Service article, senior director of La Pietra Coalition Sandra Taylor talks about how the strategies of collective action and advocacy can be used to increase women’s economic opportunities and make democracies more responsive to their citizens. “Non-profits, government, businesses, and the public can make substantially greater progress in alleviating many serious and complex social problems if they join around a common agenda,” she writes. “When we work together to accomplish a similar goal we can be very powerful and have a real collective impact.”

Article at a glance:

  • For democracy to deliver for women around the world, women’s voices must be heard on policy and regulatory issues that affect them at the local, national, and increasingly, the global level.
  • Women’s business associations, networks, and coalitions are important vehicles for political, economic, and social empowerment.
  • The focus on creating economic opportunity for women is key not only to women’s empowerment but to the democratic and economic development of countries.

With International Women’s Day approaching on March 8, we will be focusing for the next week on women’s issues here on the blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter @cipeglobal. Tomorrow: 20 Empowered Women You Should Be Following on Twitter.

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