Tool: integrating women’s economic empowerment into M4P approaches

Tool: integrating women’s economic empowerment into M4P approaches

Part of SIDA's Women's Economic Empowerment Series, this brief explains how to integrate women's economic empowerment into approaches that are seeking to make markets work for the poor (M4P). M4P is an economic development strategy focused on making market systems work more efficiently, sustainably, and to the benefit of the poor as a way to reduce poverty for a large number of women and men. The tool provides a flexible framework that can be used to help think through complex economic and social issues, and facilitate locally-owned solutions in both the public and private sector.

An example of how M4P can create positive impacts through the integration of women's economic empowerment is the Promoting Pro-Poor Opportunities in Commodity and Service Markets project in Northern Nigeria, which provided an incentive that changed gender roles and responsibilities by linking women to a local microfinance provider. This allowed them to buy rice from farmers directly, when prices were low, store and parboil it, and then sell to millers when prices were higher. In Kano, the women had previously not owned the rice, and had only served as contract parboilers for a fee whenever the rice was brought to them. They increased their income simply by changing their role from contract parboilers to trader-parboilers. Impact studies showed that incomes went up and also that there was an increase in women’s sense of being in control, as they now owned the rice and were not dependent on the millers.

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