Increasing women’s participation in the economy
In 2018, DFID-funded economic development programme ELAN RDC sought to answer the question, “How much economic potential is lost each year due to women’s under-participation in Kinshasa’s economy?” This research resulted in a report estimating further revenues that could be gained if companies adopt more gender inclusive products, services and internal policies.
The research was presented by Arlette Mboyo and Sonia Jordan of ELAN RDC in October 2018 in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and UN Women. During the event titled “Women Drive Growth”, which was hosted by U.K. Ambassador John Murton and attended by Gender Minister Mrs. Chantal Safou from the DRC Government, companies were encouraged to make commitments to pursue gender inclusion initiatives related to company practices and/or product development.
Following the event, UN Women further promoted its Women’s Empowerment Programme (WEP), which conducted baseline assessments leading to the signing of charters committing to specific actions designed to improve over time.
On March 30, 2019, the Women in Business Network in the Africa CEO Forum partnered with Sultani Makutano hosted an event, which included networking and training sessions. During the event, awards for contributions to women’s economic empowerment were given to 5 organizations, including four companies (ITM, Vodacom, Equity Bank and Rawbank) and to ELAN RDC for its contribution through the research.
ELAN RDC will continue to support partner companies as they develop and implement initiatives to promote gender equality and inclusion. At the beginning of 2019, ELAN observed that the number of events and initiatives promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment are multiplying, which is a great trend but also introduces the risk of duplicate efforts. In order to promote information sharing between different initiatives, ELAN created a Women Drive Growth LinkedIn group where businesses, organizations and individuals can share relevant announcements, research and ideas.