Pakistan – CIPE completed a diagnostic report on the development of women’s chambers of commerce in Pakistan. The research shows that of eight registered women’s chambers, currently only five are functioning effectively. The report indicates that while these chambers have increased their membership, they continue to have deficits in governance, income generation and sustainability, and service delivery for members. Using this information, CIPE plans to develop a range of capacity-building initiatives for Pakistan’s women’s chambers, and will also integrate these organizations into current efforts to build a region-wide network of women’s business organizations.
Zimbabwe – CIPE partner the Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ) conducted a Womenomics Dialogue Forum in cooperation with its members the Professional Women Executives and Business Women’s Forum, the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Center, and Network (ZWRCN) and UN WOMEN. The Forum provided an opportunity for 55 women participants to discuss the budgetary process, focusing on women’s attitudes towards participation in the budget process and how they can advance their participation in the formal sector. The attendees were encouraged to be part of organizations that advocate on their behalf. Action plans from the Forum included addressing women’s lack of knowledge of the budgetary process and the resulting disadvantages. Several of the host organizations pledged to provide support to these action plans. For example, ZWRCN will be responsible for research and obtaining information on gender-based budgeting, PROWEB will ad vocate for a quota system were women can sit in on decision-making boards, and WABAZ will disseminate information to its members to increase women’s participation in budgetary process.
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Peru – CIPE partner the Institute for Liberty and Democracy held a workshop in Cusco aimed at promoting business participation among indigenous women and building the capacity of indigenous women’s associations. The workshop provided over 40 participants with the legal and economic tools to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, know their rights, and advocate for removing challenges that affect the local business environment. CIPE consultant Marina Stadthagen presented at the workshop on association governance and the importance of business associations in democratic societies.
Nigeria – CIPE hosted a three-day capacity-building workshop for 24 women representing 15 Nigerian business and professional women’s associations at CIPE’s field office in Lagos. The workshop on association management covered topics including best practices for functional boards and management; strategic planning; membership recruitment and retention; and service provision. CIPE Nigeria Country Director Wumi Gbadamosi, CIPE Field Representative Camelia Bulat, and CIPE Program Officer Yana Hongla facilitated the workshop. CIPE is working to enhance the capacity of business and professional women’s organizations to effectively advocate for their members’ interests.
Zimbabwe – CIPE partner the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) hired two consultants to provide assistance to the Women Alliance of Business Associations of Zimbabwe (WABAZ). The first consultant met with two WABAZ members to provide technical assistance on association management and membership development, while the second consultant met with five WABAZ members in Harare and Bulawayo to solicit input on the development of a strategic plan to guide the informal coalition over the next five years. This is part of a CIPE program with ZNCC to empower women’s business associations to advocate for policy and regulatory reforms on issues affecting women entrepreneurs.
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The Zimbabwe Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development recently published a document that seeks to expand the level of women’s participation in the mainstream economy. The Broad Based Women Economic Empowerment (BBWEE) framework acts as an implementation plan to ensure women control an equal share of the economy and benefit from all possible economic opportunities.
By communicating the vision, goal and underlying principles of BBWEE, the framework can be applied generally to the private sector, NGOs, and government organizations. The document defines operational objectives, main pillars, and intervention areas that are imperative to economically empowering women. Key actions as well as a time frame for each are outlined in the framework and an indicative budget is laid out for partners. In addition to laying out the individual steps, the framework identifies key indicators for monitoring progress and impact.
In support of the BBWEE, the Women Alliance of Business Associations of Zimbabwe (WABAZ) has agreed to participate in the government’s plan. The government’s willingness to cooperate with civil society in implementing and monitoring the BBWEE framework is a good step to ensuring that the new plan effectively increases women’s participatory possibilities.
Zimbabwe - CIPE’s partner the Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe is hosting a series of breakfast meetings called ‘Breaking Financial Barriers to Success’ for women entrepreneurs as part of ongoing efforts to empower women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. Twenty two participants attended the meeting and interacted with a series of presenters, which included the Director of Women Affairs and Gender and Community Development, Research Manager for FBC Bank and the Business Development Manager for Micro King Finance. The Meeting was attended by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZTV) which aired footage during the nightly news. CIPE is supporting WABAZ to empower women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe through technical assistance, advocacy, and research on issues affecting women in business.
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Zimbabwe - The Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ) held their first leadership committee meeting to elect their Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson and to plan the official launch of the coalition. CIPE is supporting the growth of WABAZ through its partner in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as part of a CIPE project to strengthen the voice of business associations in the country to represent the interests of the private sector in dialogue with the government Following a CIPE roundtable, WABAZ was founded in August 2011 by nine women’s business support organizations who came together to form a coalition to empower women through advocacy, dialogue, and information sharing.
Pakistan – The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PWCCI) launched its website (www.wccip.org.pk) this week. The site includes a membership database (a requirement of Pakistan’s Trade Organizations Ordinance) and highlights the services provided by the Chamber for women entrepreneurs in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. The website was developed under a CIPE technical assistance grant.
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Here’s a story of persistence and personal improvement about a former cattle-herd in Zimbabwe. Thanks to Catalin and Melinda in Romania for sharing.
New York Times:
“Triumph of a Dreamer”
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The education system in Zimbabwe has long suffered from an insufficient focus on teaching practical skills, limited access to higher education opportunities, and unequal access for girls to specialized fields such as science. Education reforms should increase employability and entrepreneurship by increasing access to information, cultivating life skills, and engaging the business sector. Read the article in CIPE’s Economic Reform Feature Service, “The Pursuit of Higher Education in Zimbabwe: A Futile Effort?“