The Eight

building blocks of
women’s economic

In 2014, a report was published on 31 of the largest privately-funded women’s economic empowerment programmes at that time. The report included eight building blocks which highlight the multiple and inter-locking structural barriers women face when striving to ensure equal economic participation and opportunities within their communities. A strategic framework was also included to help organisations design women’s economic resilience programmes to overcome these barriers. The only way to achieve a sustainable, impactful and equitable economic empowerment for women is taking all these blocks into consideration.

Women face multiple

structural barriers

  • Access to equitable & safe employment
  • Education & Training
  • Access to & control over resources
  • Voice in society & policy influence
  • Freedom from the risk of violence
  • Freedom of movement
  • Access to & control over reproductive health & family formation
  • Addressing unpaid care work

Additional studies and reports

Several additional studies and reports found similar findings to the structural barriers women face, including:

  • McKinsey Global Institute (2015). Power of Parity.
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
  • Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) (2016). Building Effective Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategies.
  • UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment

Creating long-lasting social and economic value

Why should you partner with women’s fund and women’s organisations? As the gender experts in their context, they are best equipped with the know-how of using holistic approaches to address women’s economic resilience. Therefore, partnering with women’s funds and women’s organisations will create lasting social and economic value. Furthermore, they are:

  • Trusted, Strategic and Culturally Grounded

    They have wide-reaching networks in their communities and intimate awareness of the cultural, social, political and religious obstacles to creating long-lasting change.

  • Offer a Holistic View

    They have a deep understanding of the multi-faceted issues that can affect the ability of women and girls to become full participants in their economy and society.

  • Experienced Navigators

    They bring extensive experience advocating for change and building support in local and national politics and legal systems.

  • Cost-Efficient

    They offer highly efficient service provision, operating within the cost structure of their home country.