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.
Editor’s Note: The following article originally appeared on The Mantle on July 14, 2011
Reconfiguring the Collective Action of Women
A global shift is underway: women are reconfiguring strategies, expanding networks, and devising cohesive agendas and collective action to bolster their access and impact in securing social, cultural, economic, and political rights on a global scale. Indeed, statistical indicators allude to the place and positions that women occupy in the contemporary terrain of poverty and policy, representing 50% of the world’s population, accounting for an estimated 70% of global poverty, but holding a mere one-fifth of political seats in national governments worldwide. Yet these same numbers have a tendency to obscure the character and context of potential expressed in the lives of women, of the attributes and agility women have in making vital contributions to their respective communities, and in shaping the features of participatory democracy.
Centered on the perceived status of women, and in recognition of the barriers and challenges that constrain women from maximizing their full potential, the Center for Private Enterprise (CIPE) recently spearheaded a two-day international conference (June 20-21) to cultivate dialogues that move beyond conventional modes used to assess and understand the lives the of women and their ability to impact policy and strengthen economies. The conference, entitled “Democracy that Delivers for Women,” drew an array of women and men from economic arenas, political landscapes, and organizational sectors to identify and share challenges, explore the attributes and trends in women’s leadership, and to gather insights for action in fueling a radical shift in the economic and political empowerment of women throughout the world.
Continue reading ‘The Energy Within: Reconfiguring the Collective Action of Women’ »
Last month CIPE hosted Democracy that Delivers for Women in Washington D.C. The event gathered over 250 development practitioners, experts, grassroots organizers, and others engaged in women’s empowerment to discuss the links between women’s political and economic empowerment.
To read more about women’s empowerment or follow-up on the Democracy that Delivers for Women conference check out the CIPE Global Update – July 2011.
Comment here or share a message with the Community of Women Entrepreneurs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angel Fraile speaking on Corporate Citizenship and Women's Empowerment
At the Democracy that Delivers for Women conference, the conversation on corporate citizenship was particularly insightful, offering examples of how adhering to good corporate governance standards and implementing corporate social responsibility programs can improve the business environment for women. The session was moderated by Taryn Bird, Manager of the Global Corporate Citizenship Program and Corporate Relations at the Business Civic Leadership Center, and included panelists Eileen Kaufman, Executive Director of Social Accountability International and Angel Fraile Coracho, Sustainable Development Manager at Endesa. Continue reading ‘A Conversation on Corporate Citizenship and Women’s Empowerment at Democracy That Delivers for Women’ »