The Coalition is premised on the idea that empowering women often requires an integrated approach to the issues that prevent women and girls from fully participating in the economic, political, social and cultural lives of their communities and countries.
Building Partnerships For An Integrated Approach to Women's Empowerment
Coalition members work across sectors to maximize the range of skills, strategies and resources available for this work to empower women and advance their rights. In particular, they see the potential for enhancing private sector efforts to empower women economically in supply and value chains through partnerships with women’s organizations and funds.
These organizations can bring strategic local knowledge to assist corporations and ensure that their women’s empowerment programs have a lasting impact for women and their communities. as well as for business.
Women's Economic EMpowerment
A 2014 report on 31 of the largest corporate funded women’s economic empowerment programs by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Dalberg Global Development Advisors found that the majority of those corporate programs supported women’s economic roles through access to training, mentoring, networks, markets, and financial resources.
That report concluded that, for companies to succeed in economically empowering women, a more effective strategy would be to build an integrated and holistic approach that addresses the underlying structural barriers that women often face in striving to become full participants in their economies and societies.
The report described how organizations could put this integrated approach into action by using the eight building blocks below to design a strategic framework for their women's empowerment programs. By doing so, these programs are more likely to create lasting social and financial value.
A report released in early 2016 by ICRW and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) reinforced these findings, looking at sector specific strategies for women’s economic empowerment.
The importance of an integrated approach has also been reinforced by other studies. In September 2015, McKinsey Global Institute released its Power of Parity report, which highlighted the multi-faceted issues blocking women’s economic empowerment, including political underrepresentation, fewer legal rights, violence against women, low maternal and reproductive health, unequal education levels, and financial exclusion. That report concluded that gender parity at work was not possible without achieving gender parity in society. Similarly, the 2016 Women, Business and the Law report from the World Bank Group, reinforced the need for an integrated approach to economic empowerment with its focus on new areas restricting women’s entrepreneurship and employment, including legal age of marriage, protection orders for victims of domestic violence, and nondiscrimination in access to credit.