Women, Voice and Power: Making a Development Case for Transformative Feminist Leadership

Emily Brown Gender, Participation and Leadership, Women's Economic Empowerment

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a terrifying reality worldwide, Southern feminist activists have organized together to provide both immediate local services and long-term support to those affected by poverty, violence and oppression. They have effectively organised environmental, anti-racist, labour, peace and political movements across communities to promote and protect women’s rights and social justice. Here is MADRE, for …

Shabana’s Garden of Happiness

Kazi Rabeya Ame Agriculture, Climate Change, Food & livelihoods, Women's Economic Empowerment

by Kazi Rabeya Ame and Munir Hossain Shabana Begum, a young woman from Kurigram district located in the northern Bangladesh was married off when she was just 14 years old. Her husband was daily wager and used to work for others’ farm land. Her husband was the only earning member in the family and the money he earned was insufficient …

Ten lessons in promoting inclusive entrepreneurship program

Shekhar Anand Women's Economic Empowerment, Youth employment, Youth Participation

by Ahmed Elassal and Shekhar Anand Most countries in the MENA region continue to marginalize the most vulnerable adolescents and youth, particularly young women, poor, refugees or people with disabilities, impacting their ability to realize their full potential (UNICEF). Young entrepreneurs find it extremely difficult to run their micro enterprises, small businesses, and start-ups in the same manner as they were doing …

Agricultural Sheroes – The hidden stories of Palestinian Women

Asmaa AbuMezied Women's Economic Empowerment

The agriculture sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is debilitated by multifaceted structural challenges. However, within the sector itself, women face another layer of challenges arising from the gender roles and responsibilities that are strongly defined by social norms. The gender division of labour in the agriculture sector depends upon the specific agricultural commodity and the various stages of the value chain.  …

Change in social norms around men’s unpaid care work

Lucia Rost Gender, Women's Economic Empowerment

Social norms which restrict men’s participation in unpaid care work need to change in order to achieve gender equality. But, how do these norms change? Lucia Rost shares insight from research in northern Uganda. Domestic work and caring for people is crucial to society and the economy. Across the world, women undertake more than three-quarters of unpaid care. This perpetuates …

3 Key Lessons from the Pandemic – Valuing Women’s Work Community Learning

Aissa Boodhoo Gender, Women's Economic Empowerment

What a difference a year makes. Back in early 2020, reports of an emerging virus were starting to enter the news, but we had little appreciation of the scale of impact from the ensuing global pandemic, and how within Oxfam, Covid-19 would fundamentally change our ways of working. As we reflect on the year, here are some key lessons from …

From burden to benefit: Reframing the conversation on care

Amber Parkes Gender, Inequality, Women's Economic Empowerment

If I said you could either invest in something that is essential or something that is a burden, which would you choose? I’m guessing most people would choose the former. How we frame things matters. From political slogans to hashtags to social justice campaigns, anyone who has tried to compel others into action knows that the words we choose are …

Unlocking social entrepreneurship’s transformative potential for gender justice

Francesca El Asmar Gender, Women's Economic Empowerment

On Social and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we celebrate the women who are innovating every day to respond to the problems they face in their communities, challenging a system that is stacked against them. Social entrepreneurship (SE), as a tool to drive inclusive growth and development, is a growing trend globally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. …

Lessons in innovative financing for creating employment in the Middle East and North Africa

Ahmed Elassal Livelihoods, Women's Economic Empowerment, Youth employment

Background Emerging market economies face a significant credit gap and access to finance is considered the biggest obstacle for enterprises. Banks have been the traditional source of funding, but the financial crisis has led banks to be even more reluctant, which is creating an active debate about the importance of broadening the range of funding options available beyond banks. Such …