ICT, Access to Finance Stressed as Solutions to Empower Women

December 05, 2013

At the DAI-hosted lab at this year’s European Development Days, participants were challenged to come up with creative ways of economically empowering women in developing countries. Among some of the solutions discussed were: promoting the use of information and communications technology to help more women access business financing; training banks to cater specifically to female customers; taking advantage of women’s abilities to network; and encouraging donors and governments to facilitate women’s participation in local and global value chains.

The brainstorming session—called “Women’s Economic Empowerment through Public-Private Partnerships”—followed remarks by speakers including Janet Nkubana, the co-founder of Rwanda-based Gahaya Links; Alex Thier, the Assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); and DAI’s Anne Simmons-Benton and Katja Silva-Leander.

“The lab brought together the insight from a real private sector success story and cross-fertilized ideas from two donors (USAID and DFID) to actualize the Paris Declaration principles to create replicable solutions,” said Simmons-Benton.

Development Days, the annual forum in Brussels organized by the European Commission, was attended by 5,000 practitioners, heads of state, and global development decision makers.

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