Economic Development & Microfinance

Women contribute actively to economic development and sustainability. Their social status determines their access to opportunities for economic autonomy and advancement. In the US, the glass ceiling is still firmly in place in many sectors of the economy. Globally, economic development efforts are doomed to failure without women’s active involvement and participation. More efforts need to focus on empowering women as wage earners, entrepreneurs and business owners. Microfinance programs also offer great potential to lift women out of poverty.

National Council of Women’s Organizations Launches “Respect, Protect, Reject” Campaign

This post was originally featured on the Institute for Women's Policy Research Blog on July 19, 2011. 


By Heidi Reynolds-Stenson

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Changing Workplace Scheduling as an Anti-Poverty Strategy

By Melissa Stevenson

At the June 22nd brown bag lunch, “Changing Workplace Scheduling as an Anti-Poverty Strategy,” sponsored by Half in Ten and the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU Wagner, presenter Joan Williams discussed how erratic workplace scheduling policies prevent many low-income parents from maintaining regular employment. She believes that anti-poverty policies that focus entirely on workforce readiness may be misplaced; instead, the problem rests with the employers and companies who use outdated workplace scheduling practices that make it impossible for low-income workers to be both an ideal worker and a responsible parent.

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Special Call for Papers: Engendering Economic Policy in Africa

 Seeking papers aimed at challenging and improving economic policies in Africa.

Guest Editors
Caren A Grown, Abena D Oduro, and Irene van Staveren

In recent years, feminist economists and gender and development scholars have drawn attention to the adverse effects in Africa of policies associated with the Washington Consensus, including trade liberalization, strict anti-inflationary policies, and privatization of government functions. As these policies particularly disadvantage women and the poor, a variety of voices have emerged critiquing their underlying assumptions and renewing efforts to promote alternate pathways to gender equity, well-being, and sustainable economic development.

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Looking to Women in America for Solutions

*By Kate Meyer

Last week Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Preeta Bansal, General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, hosted a White House Webchat to highlight findings from the recently released report Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being. Here at NCRW we were thrilled to see Jarrett and Bansal advocating for the same policies and programs that are on our agenda.

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Forward Thinking in Critical Times: TANF, Safety Nets, and A New Economy for All


For the last 15 years, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) has provided critical assistance to many families in need. Over this same period and in the wake of the most recent recession, poverty rates and unemployment rates have reached historic highs and families receiving public assistance continue to encounter multiple barriers to long-term economic security.

As the TANF approaches reauthorization in September 2011, there is an opportunity to think critically about how to link the program with national and state-level goals to alleviate poverty and re-build the middle-class through education, training and continued work supports.

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