Building evidence on Women’s Economic Empowerment

Our work aims at providing knowledge products on Women’s Economic Empowerment and providing recommendations for programme design and policy reform.

An increase in global attention on gender equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) in recent years has culminated in the 2021 Generation Equality Forum (GEF). GEF is a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico, in partnership with civil society and youth. At the GEF, Germany has committed an additional funding on WEE of 140 million euros, bringing the total of Germany’s engagement to 240 million euros.


While policies are advancing and global commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being made, progress on gender equality and WEE in practice remains slow. This can be attributed to two kinds of barriers:

  • Barriers like social norms, gender stereotypes or limited voice and agency, are invisible and thus difficult to tackle;
  • Others like barriers for accessing education, financial and digital assets, land and property, as well as legal barriers, are easier to pinpoint, but take an enormous effort and careful programming to overcome.

Our approach

To strengthen GIZ’s work on WEE and to provide the GIZ Sector Project working on sustainable economic development with evidence, our team developed knowledge products for the project focusing on women entrepreneurship. Developed in both English and German, knowledge products covered:

  • Glossary on most important terms around WEE
  • Stakeholder mapping on WEE (international and bilateral donor organisations)
  • Paper on barriers to WEE
  • Paper on evidence on how to overcome barriers to WEE and knowledge gaps
  • Narrative for the Sector Project Sustainable Economic Development on WEE
  • PowerPoint Presentation on stakeholder mapping results, research into barriers and evidence as to how to overcome them


The project has developed knowledge products used by the GIZ internally and externally in its communication with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), promoting WEE and providing recommendations for programme design and policy reform.

Area of expertise