DFID’s approach to promoting
women’s economic empowerment
International Parliamentary Conference on
Gender and Politics
Thursday 8th November 2012
Lindi Hlanze, Economic Adviser, DFID
Why is women’s economic empowerment important?
• It matters for women and girls – contributing to their broader
empowerment, agency and voice, and to better welfare outcomes for
them, their households and their wider communities.
• It also matters for economic growth – for example, through its impacts
on firm performance, agricultural productivity and generation of tax
• There are multiple barriers to women accessing resources and
opportunities - underinvestment in women’s health and education,
discriminatory cultural and social norms and formal or customary laws
and regulations, unequal access to resources, knowledge, information,
networks and markets, informality and workplace discrimination and
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DFID context
DFID’s Business Plan 2011-15: “Recognise the role of
women in development and promote gender equality”
• One of 6 Ministerial priorities
• Critical to delivering the Millennium Development Goals
DFID’s working definition of economic empowerment:
Economic empowerment is a process that increases people’s
access to and control over economic resources and
Slide 3
DFID’s Strategic Vision For Girls And Women
Stop poverty before
it starts. Transform societies.
Invest now in girls and women to multiply our impact.
The earlier the better.
Delay First
Pregnancy and
Support Safe
Assets direct to
Girls and
Get Girls
Against Girls
and Women
Enabling Environment
Build effective legal frameworks to protect girls' and women’s rights + increase the value given to girls and women by society
enable women’s participation in politics + sustain political commitment to services and opportunities for girls and women
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Get economic assets directly to girls and women
Access to and control of:
2015 Targets:
Financial assets (cash, savings, credit, Improved access to finance for 18
insurance, remittances etc)
million women
Physical assets (land, property,
livestock, productive technologies etc)
Secure access to land for 4.5 million
Economic empowerment is about more than just assets!
Women’s rights and access to human, social and natural capital are
critical and complementary.
Slide 5
Policy area Programme examples
Jobs and
Nepal Market Development Programme - aims to increase incomes of 150,000 female farmers
by up to £80 per year over 5 years
Business Innovation Fund - supported Care and Danone’s creation of a rural sales force
comprising 2,800 destitute women in Bangladesh (‘Aparajitas’), to increase by 12,000 by 2014
Training and
Punjab Economic Opportunities Programme (PEOP) - provides market-based skills to 125,000
poor people of which 40% will be women (aims to enhance dairy quality and yields and improve
market linkages)
Rwanda National Land Tenure Regularisation Roll-Out - support to demarcate, adjudicate and
issue title deeds for approximately 6.3m people, 50% of which will be women
Global Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Finance Initiative - will provide finance to over
200,000 SMEs across 15 DFID priority countries, with at least 25% of loans reaching womenheaded SMEs.
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) - support for 1.1 million female household
representatives to receive cash transfers to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, increase access
to primary education and contribute to women's economic empowerment
Vietnam’s Third Rural Transportation programme - creates employment for ethnic minority
women in rural road maintenance and trained 1,533 female rural transportation managers
Property rights
climate (legal
and regulatory
Slide 6
Afghan Climate Investment Facility (AICF) - supporting reforms that will include benefits for
women including reducing unnecessary red tape, increasing access to credit, improving land use,
strengthening property rights and commercial dispute resolution, strengthening labour market,
customs and taxation systems, reducing corruption, and facilitating public private partnerships in
infrastructure and agriculture
Research and evidence
Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries (PEDL) –
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)/DFID research
Growth and labour markets in developing countries – IZA (Institute for
the Study of Labor)/DFID research
Maximise opportunities for gender-related proposals and gender-disaggregated data
particularly under “Dynamics of MSMEs: information & entrepreneurship” theme
Gender theme to explore trends, determinants and consequences of female labour
participation in LICs, and to identify interventions to support women to enter more
productive sectors and increase their earnings potential
Country specific examples
Gender in Nigeria report 2012: www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/publications1/GenderNigeria2012.pdf
Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Democratic Republic of the
Congo: http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/docs/7717.pdf
Thank you!
Lindi Hlanze
Economic Adviser
(economic empowerment of women and girls)
[email protected]
Slide 8

Lindi Hlanze, Lead on Economic Empowerment of