The rapid digital transformation underway in many emerging markets has the potential to have an equally transformative impact for women entrepreneurs. However, critical gaps in access to the internet and mobile phones can limit the ability to work in tech-enabled jobs or to compete as entrepreneurs. This event draws on recent IFC research on the rise … Continue reading Building Inclusive Platforms- A Conversation with Jumia and Lazada
E-commerce is thriving in Africa and Southeast Asia. IFC leveraged data Jumia and Lazada, two of the largest e-commerce platforms in Africa and Southeast Asia respectively, and found that this growth could be even higher if we invest in women entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms. The reports ‘Women and E-commerce in Africa’ and ‘Women and E-commerce … Continue reading Women & E-commerce: A $300 Billion Opportunity
What role are women playing in the ride-hailing market? Can ride-hailing improve women’s mobility and work opportunities? From addressing safety to designing new products, hear about the results of three global studies and share in a discussion of practical challenges and solutions from Uber, Bolt, and PickMe. To watch the event, visit the World Bank … Continue reading A conversation with Bolt, PickMe and Uber
Caroline Rubin, Julia Hakspiel and Bobbi Gray from the WEE Working Group spoke with Alexa Roscoe, Disruptive Technology Lead at IFC’s Gender and Economic Inclusion Group, and Lana Graf, Principal Industry Specialist for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at IFC about ways in which digital technologies can support the women’s economic empowerment. How do digital technologies … Continue reading Using AI for women’s economic empowerment: How can it work?
Few industries have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic more than the transport industry. Both the public and private sector, including ride-hailing, are looking for solutions that will ensure a sustainable future. To ensure a resilient recovery from the pandemic and the opportunity to thrive, it is essential for companies not only to create safe … Continue reading Women & ride-hailing in Sri Lanka
Increasing evidence shows COVID-19 risks undoing decades of progress for women. Women are often in jobs which are informal or in sectors like retail or tourism that are heavily impacted by the pandemic. Loss of childcare and increased responsibilities at home represent a “parallel crisis” that could keep even more women from the workforce. However, as markets … Continue reading After COVID, will women return to ride-hailing?
Segregated transport remains heavily debated both in terms of its benefits to women and its efficacy within broader transport systems. Proponents claim that it helps meet women’s urgent needs for safe transportation, one of the biggest barriers to women’s economic participation, and represents an important step forward for women whose movement is constrained. Critics claim … Continue reading Navigating the debate on women-only transport
This movement is a result of a partnership with the European Commission and unites leaders across the tech sector in order to utilize online marketplace to enhance opportunities for women competing in emerging markets. The initiative seeks to ensure that emerging technologies and business models—including the platform economy—benefit both women and men. Women already lag … Continue reading #Digital2Equal: Expanding opportunities for women
The opportunities and risks of sharing economy models are particularly relevant for women, as they both have more to gain from greater participation and more to lose if they are excluded from new forms of income or assets. With this new research, ride-hailing companies are well-placed take the lead in putting women at the center … Continue reading Five things a global study on ride-hailing tells us about women and the sharing economy
An engaging discussion of the South African report findings for "Driving Toward Equality" took place on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield. "He plays host to major players in the business arena, from blue-chip company CEOs to industry experts, and the entrepreneurs making waves in South Africa. Bruce interviews a well-known guest about their attitudes … Continue reading The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield
It’s time for a more nuanced analysis of what the women’s economy really looks like and how it will evolve in the future.
There is growing evidence that greater gender equality leads to increased business innovation, and companies that pay attention stand to reap great rewards. The business case for gender equality is compelling, and few still doubt that investing in women as employees and entrepreneurs leads to increased productivity and profitability. But one piece of the puzzle … Continue reading Women and innovation: Making the connection
Recently I had the honor of presenting at the PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy, hosted by the Oxford University Saïd Business School. PowerShift was hands down the most inspiring conference I have ever attended, largely because it drew together companies, NGOs and academics in a way which not only gave participants a … Continue reading Towards an ecosystem for women’s financial inclusion- what next?
Last week I had the honor of speaking at Oxford’s PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy. Rarely have I been in one room with so many accomplished women and rarely have I come away from any event feeling so inspired. Part of the feeling came from the many leaders who are reshaping women’s … Continue reading Three insights on feminist economics from Oxford PowerShift
Empowering women is not without risks – we need to identify and overcome them. There’s a statistic that most development practitioners will have heard quite frequently: empowering women farmers would decrease the number of hungry by up to 150 million. There are many facts like it, all meant to make the case for women’s economic empowerment. … Continue reading Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment
The BBC's recent Panorama investigation, Dying for a Bargain, brought welcome attention to the issue of workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment sector, where more than 1,100 people recently died in the collapse of a garment factory at Rana Plaza. It rightly pointed out that up to a million people work in dangerous or illegal conditions at … Continue reading What the BBC didn’t say about workers in Bangladesh
This week the UK government takes the historic step of becoming one of the first institutions to make an official statement on how companies should operationalize the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, more commonly known as the Ruggie Principles. Leading the process to formalize the ambitious but sometimes vague standards laid out … Continue reading Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender
I’ve written previously that there is business case for companies to empower women; what I didn't mention was that even if there were not, there would still be a strong legal case for them to do so. The global standard for the responsibilities of business vis-à-vis human rights is the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business … Continue reading Why the Ruggie Principles require every company to empower women
In the months since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh sparked a drive to address worker health and safety in the garment sector, I’ve been suffering a severe case of déjà vu. Here’s how it has played out: high-profile exposure of human rights abuses, coupled with intense lobbying by civil society, causes international brands … Continue reading The evolution of multi-stakeholder initiatives: Lessons for the Bangladesh garment sector