Women’s economic empowerment (WEE) basically means enabling women to earn a decent living. It has taken on a variety of definitions and sometimes, even at the highest levels, is used without definition (e.g. the Beijing Platform for Action, or the 2017 UN High Level Panel reports on WEE). Proponents differ in defining the how and why to achieve WEE. How to tackle the wicked problems of poverty, exclusion, exploitation and gender inequality? And ‘why’?