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WOCAN at the Foreign Policy Centre’s Roundtable Discussion on Investing in Women's Economic Resilience and Social Wellbeing

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 -
2:00pm to 4:00pm

(Europe/London)

Jeannette Gurung will be joining the roundtable discussion on ‘Investing in women's economic resilience and social wellbeing : Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa’ organized by the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC), supported by Nestle. This is the third event in the series of six FPC discussions and its being held on 4 November in the UK House of Parliament.  This discussion aims to focus on environmental resource management. It seeks to understanding how best to support women to adapt to a changing environment (with respect to water scarcity, climate change challenges, energy insecurity etc.) and balance conservation and consumption in an age of scarcity and uncertainty. In essence, what works, what doesn’t and how can success be appropriately scaled-up and replicated?

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Scottish National Party (SNP) Spokesperson on Climate Change and a member of the UK Parliamentary International Development Committee.

BACKGROUND

This series of roundtable discussions takes place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined. This is illustrated by a number of key global conferences in 2015. The recent post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals’ agenda Summit, the UN Climate Change Conference (November 2015) and a World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference (December 2015). In addition, 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (SCR1325) which promotes the importance of women in building peace and security in states affected by conflict. All this is coupled with the fact that the global economic recovery remains fragile. Existing global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women has been compounded by an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important. How does private sector development support structural transformation and enhance sustainable development outcomes? This might range from wealth and investment creation to employment-led growth. Private sector development might also include driving innovation and technological development to building essential infrastructure and responded to environmental challenges. Furthermore, business and enterprise can also support entrepreneurship, help improve the quality of work and provide much needed increases in labour productivity.

ROUNDTABLE TWO: MARCH 2015

The second roundtable discussion focused on female entrepreneurship, employment and agricultural development with particular reference to promoting food and nutritional security by improving support to women producers. This event discussed the impact of inequality in education, land tenure and access to agricultural technology as well as the importance of supporting smallholder farmers and encouraging young people to develop careers in agriculture and the rural economy. A number of organisations contributed to the discussion including: Christian Aid, Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) - South Africa, ECAB agricultural cooperative - Côte d’Ivoire, Gudie Leisure Farm - Uganda, Hillside Green Growers and Exporters - Kenya, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Plan UK, Stockholm Environment Institute, Twin & Twin Trading and UN Women.

ROUNDTABLE ONE: DECEMBER 2014

Entitled Understanding the development impact of business in supporting women to build their productive capacity, resilience and wellbeing: An overview,’ the first roundtable discussion aimed to set the scene and provide an overview exploring the opportunities and challenges that private sector development generates. A number of organisations contributed to the December roundtable discussion including: BBC Media Action, CARE International, Catalyst At Large Consulting, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Department for International Development, (DFID), Diageo Plc, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), International Trade Centre (ITC), Millicom, Nike Foundation, Obafemi Awolowo University-Nigeria, PwC, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Vital Voices Global Partnership and Women for Women International UK.

WOMEN: CRITICAL DRIVERS IN TRANSFORMING DEVELOPMENT ACROSS AFRICA

In essence, this series asks how sustainable business can support, strengthen and champion its impact on women’s resilience and wellbeing? Furthermore, how might governments and public agencies, in partnership with civil society, provide support to facilitate and influence the development impact of business on women? By examining the structural transformative effect of business on women’s lives, livelihoods and wellbeing, each event in the series aims to explore a number of key themes including:

·         Bridging the gap between science, technology and innovation for development transformation in Africa: Tackling development dilemmas in agriculture (e.g. food and livestock security) and the environment (e.g. biodiversity and forestry).

·         Reshaping public policy: Building better partnerships to maximise the development impact of sustainable business for women.

AFRICA RISING? BUILDING AFRICA’S PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH

This event series and the accompanying report that will be produced, forms the basis of an emerging body of FPC work. This collection of events, analysis and publications is entitled, ‘Africa Rising? Building Africa’s Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth.’ The project seeks to understand how to deliver broad-based structural transformation through the development of well-integrated economic sectors across the continent. Previous roundtable discussion series have been supported by Barclays and CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution). They have focused on the role of employment led growth and financial inclusion to support structural change across Africa.