1.00 - 1.30 PM GMT


Welcome by Zahid and Yvette Torres-Rahman, Founders, Business Fights Poverty

Followed by a Fireside Chat with Nick O'Donohoe, CEO, CDC Group


1.30 - 2.30 PM GMT



What is business’ role in responding to the surge in gender-based violence during the pandemic?

Hosted with CDC Group and CARE International UK

Timed to coincide with the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the first of two live webinars will focus on the actions companies can take to tackle increased GBV witnessed during the COVID pandemic, including in the workplace and support the implementation of the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (C190). This session will explore how business can tackle GBV in the workplace, directly through their own actions across their core business, and indirectly through their policy advocacy.

Join this session to:

  • Deepen your understanding of the latest policy developments, including the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (C190) and the Generation Equality Action Coalition on GBV, to help shape your business response and advocacy messaging.

  • Learn about the latest tools to tackle GBV in the workplace, from CDC, CARE, Business Fights Poverty and others

  • Hear some practical examples of how businesses are tackling GBV to inspire and inform action in your own organisation.


Natalie Deacon, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, President, Avon Foundation for Women

Nomsa Fulbrook-Kagwe, ESG Impact Executive, CDC Group

Joe Sutcliffe, Senior Adviser, Dignified Work, Care International

Lindsey Block, Head of Partnerships and Capacity Building, Primark

Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and CEO, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)


2.30 - 3.30 PM GMT


Women's Entrepreneurship Showcase

Hosted with UN Women

An opportunity to hear the voices of women entrepreneurs and learn about how you can get involved in a UN Women initiative to support gender equality and women’s empowerment in Europe and Central Asia. Join in order to:

  • Hear directly from entrepreneurs in Turkey, Georgia and Moldova about their work, opportunities and needs from our communities. 
  • Get fresh insights on how to directly support women’s economic empowerment and to meet new corporate partners
  • Find new ways to overcome challenges, and make a business case to your colleagues for more gender equality and inclusivity work.

 To join UN Women’s call to actions to support women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, visit here


Alia El-Yassir, Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, UN Women

Blerta Cela, Deputy Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, UN Women 

Maya Kobalia, Head of Environmental and Social Division, Crystal MFO

Nadriye Özmez and Selma Fakı, members of SADA Women’s Cooperative

Mirandukht Davituliani, Guesthouse Garemo owner

Keto Ninidze, Winemaker, Ode Wines


3.30 - 4.30 PM GMT



What is the case for gender-lens investing, and how to do it?

Hosted with CDC Group and The 2X Challenge

Despite the ever increasing business case for improved gender equality and diversity in the workplace, COVID-19 has set back progress, with widening gender pay gaps, job loss and increasing caring responsibilities for women. The case for gender-lens investing is therefore even more urgent. We will explore current thinking on the latest tools from CDC and 2X Challenge. Experts will share practical advice for investors and other businesses.

Join this session to:

  • Hear about the latest thinking on the case for gender-lens investing.

  • Learn about the latest tools from CDC and the 2X Challenge

  • Deepen your understanding of what role investors and other businesses can play, and get practical advice on how to overcome challenges.


Jen Braswell, Director, Value Creation and Gender Finance, CDC Group

Stephanie Doig, Compliance Director, Miro Forestry

Jessica Espinoza, Global Gender Finance Lead, DEG and Chair, 2X Challenge

Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Partner, Alitheia Capital

Anne-Marie Lévesque, Head of Gender and Impact, FinDev Canada

Katie Hyson, Director, Thought Leadership, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)


4.30 - 5.30 PM GMT



An opportunity for peer discussion and networking. To ensure an interactive discussion, places are limited and available on first-come-first-serve basis.

Moderated by Yvette Torres-Rahman, CFO, Business Fights Poverty

Learning Resources

VIDEO SEMINAR: Why Should Companies Have Programmes to Develop Women Leaders?

Watch this video seminar by Vasanthi Srinivasan, Professor, Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. Available from  from 1pm on 3 Dec.

VIDEO SEMINAR: Why is the Pandemic Disproportionately Affecting Women Entrepreneurs?

Watch this video seminar by Ute Stephan,Professor of Entrepreneurship, King’s Business School, King’s College London. Available from  from 1pm on 3 Dec.

TOOLKIT: Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘stay at home’ regulations, domestic violence and online bullying and harassment are expected to rise. What can companies do to support employees internally? What can they do to harness their core business strategies including marketing and innovation as well as philanthropy to respond to the increase in violence?

TOOLKIT: How Business Can Tackle Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work

This Toolkit provides a five step framework to help business tackle Gender Based Violence in the world of work. It includes top tips, a BSR Diagnostic tool and case studies illustrating how companies are starting to tackle this complex issue.

TOOLKIT: Gender Equality is Everyone's Business

This report illustrates why, where and how companies can engage men as allies to advance gender equality across their value chains. Whilst efforts to engage men as allies are relatively nascent, this report highlights examples of how companies are taking action including in supply chains, workplaces and through advertising. The report provides business leaders with insights and guidance to take action to engage men as allies at three mutually reinforcing levels: Individual, Organizational and Societal. 

VIDEO: How Can Companies Ensure Gender Equality Through Value Chains

This "How-To" video with Stephanie Barrientos, Chair at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, explores how companies can ensure gender equality through value chains.

VIDEO: Exploring the Complexity of Gender Inequality in 2020

As part of Business Fights Poverty Online 2020, we hosted a session with CARE International UK that explored some of the complexities of gender inequality. Speakers included Sandra Fontano, Unilever; Ashika Gunasena, Chrysalis; Esther Kwaku, The Nerve Network, Hester Le Roux, CARE International UK, and Hayley Morgan, Better Cotton Initiative.

PODCAST: How Can Companies Ensure Gender Equality Through Value Chains

Podcast interview with Jane Pillinger, Open University and Alice Allan, Business Fights Poverty. Jane and Alice explain why the ILO convention 190 recognised that businesses are affected and have a duty of care to their employees when violence takes place in the home.

VIDEO: Addressing Gender-Based Violence
This video provides an overview of new guidance on tackling CDC, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
GUIDE: Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment

CDC, in partnership with EBRD and IFC, developed this guidance that provides emerging good practice in addressing gender-based violence and harassment risks for companies and investors, with an emphasis on emerging markets.

GUIDE: Private Equity and Value Creation - A Fund Manager's Guide to Gender-Smart Investing

In partnership with IFC, CDC has published a new Guide for investors to help strengthen gender diversity and incorporate a gender lens into the investment process. The Guide introduces a framework to support fund managers to adopt gender-smart solutions across their own firms and at a portfolio level. Throughout the Guide we have provided explanations about why these steps are important as well as practical frameworks, checklists and tips to put these steps into action.


This free-to-use toolkit from CDC Group is aimed at private equity fund managers in emerging markets. The Toolkit aims to be both a practical building block for the development of a customised ESG management system, and an easy-to-use reference guide for assessing and managing ESG risks, impacts and opportunities.

VIDEO: 2X Challenge - Invest in Women, Invest in The World

Women are often excluded from financial markets and are limited in their economic and social potential. The “2X Challenge” will help to address these issues by investing 3 billion dollars in projects and companies that improve women’s access to leadership positions, offer women quality employment and provide specific products or services that empower women. Watch this video by the European Investment Bank (EIB).


The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched SheInvest, a new initiative to boost gender equality and female economic empowerment. The aim is to mobilise EUR 1 billion of investment that can benefit millions of women across Africa with better access to finance and by making sustainable infrastructure services and products work for them. 

GUIDE: COVID-19 and Gender Equality: Six Actions for the Private Sector

This guidance note seeks to inform private sector companies about how to recover resiliently and inclusively from the effects of COVID-19, while considering the gender gap between women and men in their companies' operations. The publication recommends six actions the private sector can implement to ensure that both women and men can return to economic activities during and after the pandemic, and participate equally as leaders, employees, business owners, and consumers. These recommendations are based on data collected from IFC surveys and interviews conducted with a total of 715 companies in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia Pacific; the World Bank’s COVID-19 surveys; and research from other leading organizations.

CASE STUDY: Gender-Lens Investments Enable Women Entrepreneurs to Thrive in Pakistan

IFC’s and We-Fi’s support to Sarmayacar led to the development of a strategy using the principles of gender-lens investing. The combined strategy was designed to reach clear, established outcomes and measurable gender-related goals for Sarmayacar. Learn more about this case study.

VIDEO: The Benefits of Non-Financial Services to Female Entrepeneurs

A new joint IFC – FMO report includes a study of 34 banks globally and found that those integrating non-financial services (information, training, mentoring, networking and business management technology) into a Women SME value proposition are seeing a positive return on investment within one to two years. Watch this video to learn how.

WEB RESOURCE: Made by Women

Women want to earn income as equals. But they face many barriers in the workplace and at home. These can be issues they face at work, such as unequal working conditions, and challenges outside of the ‘workplace’, including in their homes, in their communities, and during their commute. From domestic workers to those employed in the garment industry, learn about CARE's work around the globe to ensure women can access dignified work opportunities.

WEB RESOURCE: Preventing Violence and Harassment at Work

Global media has shown that sexual harassment can take place in any industry. The garment supply chain is no exception. The situation can change if women and men, workers and employers, join together to create work cultures of respect, where harassment is not tolerated. Around the world, this shift is starting to take place—and the garment industry can play an important role. Learn about how garment factory managers in Asia are taking action to make women feel safer at work.

VIDEO: STOP - Preventing Sexual Harassment

CARE works with factory managers in Cambodia to create effective ways of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Learn more about how this is making workers feel safer and creating positive benefits for employers.

REPORT: Made by Women

The Made by Women strategy seeks to ensure women in the garment industry have access to decent jobs, are free from violence and harassment and can give voice to their rights at work. Read the 2019 Annual Report.

REPORT: What Works? Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 

Sexual harassment adversely impacts people and business, it results in significant physical and mental health consequences, costs to business operations, and can affect all employees in the workplace. This rapid review seeks to gain and share insight on promising global approaches to addressing harassment in the workplace. It is hoped that robust evidence of what works to address this sensitive and pervasive issue will guide the practice, and accountability of employers to workplace health and safety.

REPORT: ‘I know I cannot quit.’ The Prevalence and Productivity Cost of Sexual Harassment to the Cambodian Garment Industry

This report presents the findings of a large-scale, nationally representative survey of sexual harassment in the Cambodian garment industry. Based on quantitative and qualitative survey data, the study examines the harmful negative effects of sexual harassment in the workplace and estimates the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Cambodian garment industry; and the annual cost of productivity lost to the garment industry due to sexual harassment.

BRIEF: Gender-based violence and COVID-19: The complexities of responding to ‘the shadow pandemic’

This CARE policy brief explores the unique factors of the COVID-19 pandemic that increase the risk of gender-based violence for girls and women, particularly in crisis-affected settings. The brief considers the implications for humanitarian and development programming, and makes recommendations for donors, policy-makers, and implementing organisations to prioritise GBV prevention, response, and risk mitigation approaches as essential parts of COVID-19-related programming.

REPORTBuilding Forward: Creating a more equitable, gender-just, inclusive and sustainable world

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have undoubtedly been, and continue to be, terrible for individuals, communities, and countries. Yet the crisis provides the world with a unique opportunity, an opportunity to build forward rather than back. The purpose of this report is to highlight how best this can be done, via a holistic approach to economic, climate and humanitarian policies, and by putting women and girls at the centre of recovery and reform. The report recommends that all actors must prioritise gender equity throughout their strategies for economic and financial recovery, environmental policies and humanitarian response. This means including women and girls in decision-making at all levels, shifting focus towards policies and measures that prioritise women and girls and strengthen gender equity, and engaging in organisational culture change that deconstructs harmful power structures and elevates and empowers women.

REPORT: She Told Us So: Filling the Data Gap to Build Back Equal

This in-depth research report reveals differing perspectives between women and men when it comes to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In a first of its kind data collection, CARE surveyed more than 10,000 people, including 6,200 women and 4,000 men in more than 40 countries. The report reveals three major areas in which women are more negatively experiencing COVID-19: unemployment, lack of food, and a toll on their mental health.

CAMPAIGN: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (25 November to 10 December 2020). UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign is amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.

REPORT: Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2020

The pandemic has interrupted progress on gender equality, but it can be brought back on course. This year’s edition of “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot” brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, underscoring the progress made, but also the progress interrupted as a result of COVID-19.

REPORT: From insights to action: Gender equality in the wake of COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking working hours, increased care burdens, and heightened violence have exacerbated the challenges that women and girls face. Unless action is taken, by 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty, including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19. This publication presents the latest evidence on the multiple impacts of the pandemic on women and girls.

VIDEO: Nadirye Özmez

Nadirye Özmez is a member of the SADA Women’s Cooperative which has been established by Syrian, Turkish and Afghani women in March 2019. Nadirye is one of the beneficiaries of UN Women’s SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center, which is co-financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan. Set up by the women of the SADA Center, the cooperative is active in Gaziantep province, southeast Turkey. Nadirye talks about her own experience at the SADA Center and the Cooperative.

VIDEO: Ümmühan Gül

“Thanks to SADA, I discovered my talents and improved my skills. I am learning together with my Turkish, Syrian and Afghani friends,” says Ümmühan Gül. Ümmühan was enrolled in vocational training at UN Women’s SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center co-financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan, located in Gaziantep, southeast Turkey. Together with her friends from the center, they set up a Cooperative, which enables them to generate income. Watch Ümmühan’s story.

VIDEO: Zukaa Neccar

"SADA Women’s Center supported me and opened new paths in my new life. We established SADA Women’s Cooperative with Turkish, Syrian and Afghani friends together. There are no managers here, we are all each other’s managers,’ says Zukaa. Zukaa Neccar is a beneficiary of UN Women’s SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center financed by the European Union and the Government of Japan. Watch Zukaa’s story.

VIDEO: Berivan Atilgan

Berivan Atilgan is one of the women who enhanced their employability skills thanks to a UN Women project entitled “Social and Economic Stabilization of Refugee Women and Adolescent Girls in Turkey,” which is funded by the Government of Japan and implemented in partnership with the GAP Administration and the Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants.

VIDEO: Emine Yavuz

Emine Yavuz is one of the women who attended digital skills training courses at Multi-Purpose Community Center run by the Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration. Supported by a UN Women project funded by the Government of Japan, the Centre offers vocational training courses including non-traditional skills such as coding and computer literacy and promotes social cohesion and dialogue between Turkish and Syrian women. Emine explains how the Centre helped her stand on her own feet, despite many challenges.

VIDEO: The Women's Empowerment Principles

Why is the implementation of Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) essential? Georgian business companies share their experience about WEPs. Promoting and implementing WEPs is one of UN Women’s most important mandate to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through the project “A joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, funded by the Government of Norway.

Recent Articles
from the Business Fights Poverty Community

Listening to women cotton farmers’ voices: The human cost of climate change

By Rudrani Oza, Senior Manager – Farm Innovations, CottonConnect

Gender equality matters to business

By Gabriela Uriarte, Leading Women & LEAP program, WBCSD

How to boost GDP in emerging economies? Invest holistically in girls

By Lily Rosengard, Partnerships Development Officer, Plan International and Ying Qin, Thematic Analyst, Citi Global Insights

Covid: no ‘great leveller’ when it comes to women workers’ rights

By Alice Lucas, Policy and Advocacy Manager The Fairtrade Foundation

How the development of women leadership generates positive impact

By Caroline Busatto, Country Manager, FUNDES Brazil

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Jeopardizing Women’s Ability to Earn a Living. Here’s How We Can Respond

By Cristina Manfre, Global Gender Director, TechnoServe

Podcast Interview with Jocelyn Williams, Director of Business Development, Every1Mobile

Listen to this podcast interview by Katie Hyson, Director of Thought Leadership, Business Fights Poverty

Addressing gendered and other inequalities will be central to COVID-19 recovery

By Alice Sverdlik, Researcher, Human Settlements, IIED

Making agricultural trade unions accessible to women workers

By Sabita Banerji, CEO THIRST, The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea

Informal women workers organise and learn to safely recycle e-waste in Manila

By Carmela Centeno, Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO

Making the invisible, visible: the roadmap to gender equality and women’s empowerment 

By Shamistha Selvaratnam, Gender Benchmark Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance

Supporting women’s wellbeing through flexible, digital earning opportunities 

By Natalie Deacon, Executive Director Corporate Affairs Avon, and President, Avon Foundation for Women

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About Us
We are a global community of people, companies and organisations passionate about building an equitable and resilient future.

We believe in the power of business to help improve the lives, livelihoods and learning opportunities of the most vulnerable people and communities.

We know that driving system-level change for a better future requires people to unite across traditional divides and come together in fresh and creative ways.

We curate purposeful collaboration to help companies and their partners access the insights and relationships they need to unlock new opportunities for business and social impact.

Join us. We are Business Fights Poverty.

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