On 29 November 2017, the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI) launched its collaboration with Wilton Park and AllAfrica as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship activities in the United Kingdom with an action-oriented Forum on Taking Forward the Women’s Economic Empowerment Agenda. The Forum was held (29 November – 1 December, 2017) at Wiston House in West Sussex, England.
This Forum brought together a diverse group of approximately 60 participants from 26 countries representing government, civil society, the private sector. This Taking Forward the Women’s Economic Empowerment Agenda Forum was organized as part of our collective, ongoing response to the call to action issued by the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment in September 2016 and March 2017.
The principal objective of the Forum was to identify and secure commitments to concrete actions to advance women’s economic empowerment by focusing on 3 pillars:
- Adverse norms that impact women’s economic participation – challenging discriminatory beliefs and practices;
- Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion, and Digital Inclusion – targeting the challenges and opportunities for women-owned and women-led enterprises; and
- The care economy and domestic work – recognizing, reducing, and re-distributing unpaid work and care.
The discussions in the plenary sessions and the breakout groups were impassioned, frank and robust. We started in the first plenary by sharing our thoughts on what women’s economic empowerment means and why it is important. The word map below captures elements of the meaning of women’s economic empowerment, as we discussed and defined it.