Small Change or Real Change?

Commonwealth Perspectives on Financing Gender Equality

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It is now generally recognised that gender equality is essential for sustained economic growth and for democracy, peace and security. Small Change or Real Change? Commonwealth Perspectives on Financing Gender Equality presents key thinking from experts around the world on a topic that is currently of great international concern: how to ensure that sufficient financial resources are available – both through the new aid modalities and from domestic sources – to effect the necessary changes to make gender equality a reality.

The chapters cover the full range of issues around financing gender equality, including implementation of the aid agenda, the implications for gender equality of financing HIV and AIDS interventions, the impacts of trade policies on key sources of financing and women’s need for equal access to affordable finance. Of particular concern is the importance of tracking the gender impact of aid resources (including post-conflict aid) through mechanisms such as gender-responsive budgets and aid effectiveness approaches.

The contributors, all of them development practitioners though from diverse backgrounds, share one common goal: to influence governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations to scale up their commitments to financing gender equality and thus not only make a real difference to the lives of women around the world but also reduce poverty and promote sustainable development.



Micro-finance and Innovative Financing for Gender Equality: Approaches, Challenges and Strategies

Micro-finance, which is widely recognised as a strategy to fight poverty, evolved and developed in many countries out of the women’s/gender equality movements. Yet, as it exists today, micro-finance is more about finance and less about gender. A significant proportion of the billion poor people worldwide who still lack access to financial services are women. The needs of women are different from those of men, and they often face the dual burden of productive and reproductive roles – providing livelihood security for their families and physically looking after their household as well as bearing children. Any attempt to tackle poverty and address the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) must have a major focus on women. Micro-finance must thus be made to re-discover its original mandate as it moves forward in its journey of empowering the poor, especially women.


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