31 May 2018

Advancing women’s economic empowerment

At the heart of building sustainable and inclusive businesses lies the need to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

We recognise the barriers women in our markets face, and we’re committed to using our role as an investor to help close the gaps between men and women, as well as demonstrate the social and economic value of investing in women to the wider investment industry.

Today, we’ve launched our strategy on investing to create opportunities for women, explaining how we will engage with companies where we think we can create the greatest impact. You can read our Gender Position Statement here.

The strategy builds on our commitment to women’s economic empowerment in our 2017–21 Strategic Framework, where we recognised our role in contributing to UN Global Goal 5 on gender equality, and said that we’d be looking for ways to create economic opportunity for women.

Since then, we’ve been thinking about the role that a development finance institution like CDC can play. As an investor in the private sector across Africa and South Asia, we have the potential to influence positive outcomes for women and businesses if we consider, enable and invest in gender opportunities across the business value chain. This means considering women’s role as leaders, employees, entrepreneurs, suppliers, customers and community members. Our strategy sets out how we will identify and support ‘gender-smart’ opportunities in our investments.

As part of our commitment to sharing knowledge, we’re also setting out what we’ve learnt so far about the challenges, business case and opportunities for investors in key areas of the business value chain. We’ve published an Insight paper, which looks at how investors and businesses can create opportunities for women as well as achieve better corporate performance.