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.



Spreading the Gains of Globalisation: Linking Women with Global Markets

In most developing countries, women producers and workers in the informal economy play a key role in providing the food and income that enable their families to exist. The impact of economic globalisation on these women has varied according to who they are, where they are, which sector they are involved in and how they are integrated in global production systems. While some women have lost markets and jobs or seen a decline in working conditions, others have been able to find new markets for their products and new jobs on favourable terms. Recent literature has emphasised the growing casualisation of the labour force and the increased number of women workers who form the backbone of many global supply chains for garments, footwear and other consumer goods. However, this chapter focuses on women producers (who still form the vast majority of those earning an income in the informal economy) and seeks to show how they can take advantage of new economic opportunities arising from increased economic globalisation if they are enabled to do so.


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