Women entrepreneurs in the fight against poverty

By Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder, Business Fights Poverty

DFID and Women entrepreneurs in the fight against poverty

The UK’s Department for International Development’s Africa Division has just launched its “Gender Equality Action Plan“, in which it says “DFID has long recognised that poverty will not come to an end until women have equal rights with men, and that promoting gender equality is an essential part of poverty reduction across the developing world”.

Significantly, the first objective listed in the strategy is “increased access to economic opportunities”, with access to land tenure, finance and agricultural inputs among the issues DFID commits to tackle.

Do you think DFID, and donors in general, give sufficient recognition to the role of women entrepreneurs in fighting poverty, and do they do enough to support them? What more should they be doing?

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One Response

  1. I have recently written about the women I work with in East Africa on my blog in a series I called
    POVERTY IN AFRICA IS NOT ABOUT MONEY and I uncovered some interesting insights.

    Women are certainly at the centre of community and play an important role in the economic development of society. However they often lack the skills and education to capitalise on this role. As I went through East Africa, it became apparent that the best way to support women is to put in place structures that support their enterprise, and this can be through skills sharing, etc.

    I was at the London Fashion Week yesterday and noted that they were hardly any designers from the developing world. Many women in the developing world are engaged in the fashion world in one way or another. Is this something that DFID could support direclty, perhaps they already are, I don’t know.

    Other factors are cultural, I am not sure how much DFID and other donors can do to effect these. Generally inivesting in women led enterprises and proejcts is a good starting position.

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