In the spotlight: ...

Abbas

In the spotlight: International Women's Day 2012

Op-ed outlines much to celebrate, much more to do

On the occasion of the 101st International Women's Day on March 8, 2012, we would like to join Janamitra Devan, Vice President of Financial and Private Sector Development in the World Bank Group, and Heidi Hautala, Finland's Minister for International Development, in taking stock of the achievements and challenges in the field of women's empowerment.

International Women's day 2012

 Join the worldwide conversation on International Women’s Day on Twitter: #IWD

On one hand, there is plenty to celebrate. In areas as diverse as rights, education, health, and access to jobs and livelihoods, women have made gains at a pace and scope that would have seemed unimaginable even 25 years ago, according to the 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development.

On the other hand, lingering inequalities are preventing women from living in open, inclusive societies and realizing their full potential as entrepreneurs who found companies, create jobs, and lead the worldwide charge toward gender equality.

The new op-ed by Devan and Hautala on women’s entrepreneurship highlights women’s vast promise in the search for answers to the great questions of our time—climate change, food security, and sustainable livelihoods. Its message of inclusion has resonated in such outlets as:

In this spirit, infoDev supports women entrepreneurs through initiatives such as the Mekong Women’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, which will address the lack of relevant business information and knowledge, lack of supportive networks, and the lack of self-confidence that local women in Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam identified as major impediments to the growth of female-led firms.

The challenge will offer successful participants a package of assistance that includes funding, training seminars, business coaching, and peer learning. Applications will be accepted until July 31, 2012.

Pictured: Jamila Abass, co-founder of M-Farm, which provides Kenyan farmers with up-to-the-minute price information via SMS.


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