Past Program

Oct 17 - Oct 22, 2010

Women and Economic Growth: Making Investments Count for the Future


"Forget China, India and the internet: economic growth is driven by women" - The Economist.


In recent years there has been both scholarship and experience across the globe that the empowerment and advancement of women is critical not only to women and their families but to vibrant democracies and sustainable economic growth through higher levels of education, employment, remuneration and access to resources. Investment made in and through women and girls is about more than just economic growth, however - it is about creating greater equity, justice and stability.



Significant focus has been devoted to particular issues which have promise to catalyze change such as women's entrepreneurship, women in development, women on boards, electing more women to office, women as partners in law firms and many more as well as to micro-level interventions through, for example, microfinance, microcredit, education, and training schemes. But more attention needs to be given to macro-level policy and systems, and women's participation and increased leadership in economic policy-making.



This session is designed to develop a strategic plan of action to move forward to utilize a full variety of power levers and create faster and more lasting change which assures that women's voices, ideas, experiences and talent are fully a part of their societies. We will explore the state of play with the experts and leaders who have achieved significant progress in their sectors. In small working groups we will take these ideas to the next step in ways that cross sector lines, countries and states to create solid recommendations for the future.



Participants will grapple with the following issues, among others:



· What are successful strategies to use benchmarks and metrics to measure success?



· How do we work with world leaders and policy-makers more effectively to move beyond "women's issues"



· Can progress be made without mandatory quotas? What is the downside of pursuing legislative changes?



· How can macro-economic policy better reflect the changing workforce (including women-owned business)?



· What social policies facilitate faster movement?



· What is the potential for building public-private partnerships aimed at empowering women?



· How gender issues could be advanced though corporate social responsibility?



· What is the impact and potential power of innovative investment models and strategies?



· How media can strengthen its role in advancing women participation in business and politics?



· How philanthropic organizations can better coordinate and cooperate on the global level to advance change?


Click here to listen to a European Commission audiofile on European gender equality strategy