Women are central to the labour force in DRC yet highly marginalised within it, meaning that participation does not necessarily mean women derive benefit from their work. ÉLAN RDC works to improve women’s roles and bring about meaningful changes to women’s position within the market system.

ÉLAN RDC’s Commitment To Gender Equality

ÉLAN RDC is acutely aware of poor women’s particular disadvantage in accessing and benefiting from economic opportunities in DRC. As such, in addition to the programme’s primary objective of poverty reduction, ÉLAN RDC also aspires to contribute to women’s greater economic empowerment, recognising this as a meaningful vehicle for broader social empowerment and gender equality.

What Approach Does ÉLAN RDC Take To Promote Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE)?

ÉLAN RDC’s approach to WEE is focused on identifying what incentives exist for market actors (businesses, government, civil society) to change their existing gender-blind / discriminatory behaviours. By supporting these actors to make their practices and business models more gender-inclusive, the programme realises impact for poor and disempowered women, at scale.

In a departure from many market system development programmes, we look beyond female participation and incremental income increase, instead working towards more transformative empowerment outcomes including improvements in women’s roles (see our BEAM Exchange blog here). Critical to this is supporting private-sector actors to identify, buy into, and act upon the commercial case for gender-responsive business practices.