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Policy making and programming on women’s entrepreneurship development needs to focus on improving the equality of opportunities between women and men and on reducing the gender bias and the gendered risks and vulnerabilities that women entrepreneurs face. This is the main recommendation from the new paper ‘Gender-Aware Women’s Entrepreneurship Development for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’ by Saskia Vossenberg for INCLUDE.
Policies that take into account the specific constraints on, and requirements of, women entrepreneurs will support women entrepreneurs to be drivers of inclusive development, says Vossenberg. ‘Promotion strategies for women’s business growth, increased income and improved productivity need to be systematically integrated with strategies that reduce women’s vulnerability to poverty, redistribute resources, and combat inequality, violence and exclusion.’
Policy, therefore, has to be based on the ‘practical and strategic needs and aspirations’ of women entrepreneurs. For this, policy-makers need to be more aware of ‘the socially- and historically-constructed identities, roles, power relations and modes of action assigned to men and women’, writes Vossenberg. Also important is investment in women’s business associations.
In another recent paper on women and inclusive development for INCLUDE, ‘Making Social Protection Gender Sensitive for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Julie Newton argues that it is also necessary to apply a gender lens to social protection policies to reduce inequality between men and women and make development more inclusive.
You can download the paper ‘Gender-Aware Women’s Entrepreneurship Development for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’ by clicking on the link below.Download PDF
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