The CIPE Guide to Women's Empowerment Programs

You cannot have true democratic governance without the inclusion of women. Women are half of society – not a special interest group. That is why the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) works with women around the world to strengthen their participation in both the public and private sectors.

There is a connection between women’s political and economic empowerment. If women have a voice in policymaking, they can influence decisions that will affect the way they work and run businesses. If women are economically empowered and can take care of their own material needs, they are more likely to be able to represent their own political interests.

Work on women’s empowerment should extend beyond helping or training individual women. In many countries, institutions affect women differently than men, and without focus on institutional reform it is difficult to achieve long-lasting impact. In order to support those interested in implementing women’s empowerment programs, this guidebook provides background information on issues that are particularly relevant to women’s political and economic empowerment, as well as specific programmatic approaches. Although there are many different types of programs that can address women’s issues, this guidebook focuses on topics that are most consistent with CIPE’s mission of strengthening democracy through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.


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