We recognize women’s diversity and the ways that multiple aspects of identity intersect to create individuals’ lived experiences of social and economic inequality. We recognize that it is important to identify and re-address the needs of women who are mostly marginalized in communities due to their age, disabilities, race, class, sexuality, education background or marital or indigenous status, among other aspects of diversity.
We believe that supporting transformative change and applying a feminist lens to young women’s economic empowerment requires changing discriminatory social norms that devalue women and girls in all their diversity, including cultural settings. This is why much emphasis is placed on young women’s economic agency with a specification on ability to succeed and advance economically and boost their power to make collective efforts and action on economic decisions and activities. Not taking social norms regarding culture into consideration when promoting women economic empowerment undermines the transformative potential of such efforts. Tackling discriminatory norms requires long-term, sustainable programming and generally demands collective action and strategies that work towards changes at multiple levels: within ourselves, households, institutions, the economy and society.
Advancing women’s entrepreneurship contributes to the economic well-being of the family and the community, poverty reduction and women’s empowerment, thus contributing to Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 5. Our overall program on young women’s entrepreneurship, therefore, seeks to unleash the potential of young women’s enterprises to contribute to employment creation, gender equality, poverty reduction and economic growth within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through this program, we seek to empower young women entrepreneurs (including young women with disabilities) to overcome the causes of the barriers to their entrepreneurial efforts.