April 27

Fabiola Diaz

Women’s Economic Empowerment: SEEP Forum to Tackle a Vital Issue of our Time

About the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum

The SEEP Network, in collaboration with forum partners, is hosting an international convening on women’s economic empowerment, focusing on bringing down the systemic barriers standing in the way of scalable and sustainable change. The forum will bring together leading stakeholders in the field of women’s economic empowerment to facilitate dialogue, build global learning connections, and promote effective policy and practice to address the needs of vulnerable women all around the world.

The WEE Global Learning Forum intends to narrow the divide between best practices and informed policy decisions and aims to explore topics that are emerging as critical constraints to women’s economic empowerment across the globe. The forum’s agenda will focus on three themes:


Why are we talking about Women’s Economic Empowerment?

Evidence supporting the need to empower women’s economic participation is growing by the day. Women play multifaceted roles in market systems, as smallholder farmers, employees and owners of business enterprises, clients of financial institutions, and unpaid care workers among many others.


A Global Learning Platform

The forum will span three days and take place in Bangkok, Thailand from May 23-25, 2017. It is designed to address challenges facing women’s economic empowerment by:

  • Providing a venue for global dialogue across stakeholders, disciplines, approaches and frameworks, with potential for ongoing cross-learning;
  • Promoting evidence-based research and discussion on key themes;
  • Supporting the development of enabling policy and impactful program practice; and ultimately,
  • Contributing to systems-level change resulting in sustainable and scalable development outcomes for poor and marginalized women.

Naila Kabeer, renowned gender expert and esteemed author will open the conference. Days 1 and 2 will feature 4 plenary sessions, including Tech Talks, a panel on Donor Viewpoints, and an Oxford-style debate on women’s unpaid and care work. Gender and market systems experts will also share innovative approaches relating to the three forum themes through 24 interactive peer learning sessions. On day 3, leaders from the sector will facilitate sessions on the latest industry initiatives and the SEEP WEE Working Group will meet to define priority pathways for collaborative action coming out of forum sessions.

Thought leaders and experienced practitioners in women’s economic empowerment in market systems are guiding the development of the conference agenda working alongside the SEEP Network’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group.

Join the SEEP Network in advancing women’s rights and economic empowerment in market systems across the globe.


Fabiola Diaz is Program Manager for Learning and Dissemination at SEEP.

Photo credit: World Bank, via Flickr.





business development, financial inclusion