Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI)


On September 22, 2016, during the launch of the first Report of the United Nation’s Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Christine Lagarde – Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund noted that “Women’s empowerment is not just a moral imperative; it’s an economic no-brainer. And, we know that eliminating discrimination, eliminating inequality will actually boost growth, diversify economy and reduce inequality”. Her statement is clear and challenging.

It begs the question – If women’s economic empowerment is a no-brainer then why are we not doing more to actualize it? The work of the Panel has made it clear that there is no silver bullet solution and this endeavor will take time. There are many actors already involved. By outlining the seven drivers for transformative change to tackle the systemic barriers to women’s economic empowerment, the Panel has provided a blueprint for action.

WEI seven driver actions

The reality is that concerted action is required by all.

We each can contribute as:

  • Taking action within our individual lives to influence others and help change norms.
  • Members of social and professional networks. Through our networks we can work to influence action by individuals and collectively. We are nodes in the movement network that is being mobilized to effect change.
  • Institutional actors. Those of us who work in or are affiliated with institutions can catalyze changes in policies, programs and laws to advance women’s economic empowerment.

Join us and share your thoughts on how you can contribute.