Women’s Economic Empowerment

In late February, over 40 experts from Oxfam and partners from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Timor Leste came together for a regional learning workshop on Innovative Integrated Development Solutions to Advance Women’s Empowerment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The workshop enabled participants to explore the topics and captured extensive learning experiences including:

  • Co-design a Multi-Country Program (MCP) for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) that is based on the Oxfam Asia Strategy, the Oxfam International Women’s Economic Empowerment Framework, and current strong country WEE projects
  • Develop shared theory of change, outcome and measurement framework
  • Agree on few things to start immediately based on current programming in the countries involved. This could be a research, identifying influencing objectives, a pilot collaboration, or other joint effort;
  • Identify fundraising opportunities for this newly developed program and influencing work on WEE in the region;
  • Share experiences and learning on WEE-related programming

Juliao da Costa Cristovao Caetano, Senior Program Manager of Oxfam in Timor Leste, said the WEE workshop is very useful. We learned so much from other countries related to activities that they are implementing about WEE as well as SfC+. This was really a good way for exchange knowledge and learning about WEE. In addition, this workshop helped us mapping out key stakeholders, the champions that we target, and help us to develop a strategic plan to implement WEE as well as identifying the way to work on it.

“So all the knowledge and materials that we had from this workshop will be usedas a reference to help us designing our program on WEE in Timor Leste,” said Juliao da Costa Cristovao Caetano.

Another participant from Lao Women's Union (LWU), Ninpaseuth Xayaphonesy -Director General of Department of Women in Development, said this workshop is very important not only for implementers like LWU but also Oxfam, other NGOs and funders.

“I did learn a lot form this knowledge sharing workshop, especially on the experiences and lesson learns about the implementation of the women’s economic empowerment projects from different countries in the region such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Timor Leste,” said Ninpaseuth, “This experience is very useful for our works in Laos, especially on how to help me thinking about the strategic approaches to bring the success to our works on Saving for Change and WEE.”

“This is a very good opportunity for Oxfam in Vietnam team to understand the work around WEE in the region and how it is interlinked to global change,” said Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Project Manager of Enterprising for development project from Oxfam in Vietnam.

The WEE aims to improve women’s economic position in agriculture value chains so that women enjoy a bigger share of the value they produce. And it will seek the participation of men and their involvement to challenge gender imbalances. Also it will support women’s collective access to key inputs, information and skills and their capacity to influence positively Private Sector and Government policies and practices.