Gender Lens Investing

4 min read

Advancing gender equality is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To improve women and girls’ access to, and control over, resources and capital, money must move towards projects that integrate gender comprehensively – from design to delivery and assessment.

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6 min read

Responsible financing models, platforms and activities have skyrocketed in the last few years. Trends show that stocks with sound environmental and social targets may fare better than those without these targets, even in times of crisis. At the basic level, a claim of responsible finance indicates that investments catalyze positive outcomes alongside financial returns. Responsible finance can also help investors reach their sustainable development goal (SDG) targets. In Southeast Asia, there is growing interest in one responsible financing approach that focuses on women’s economic empowerment, often called “gender-lens investing”. Gender-lens investing can have positive impacts on women (and their families’) health, safety, education and livelihoods.

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6 min read

2020 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action – the UN Women-led blueprint to advance women’s rights, when women empowerment should have achieved significant success. We are far from that, and will actually need another century to reach gender parity. That is certainly not helped by the ongoing pandemic, which threatens to negate even the limited gains made. Across every sphere, from education and health to economy and security, the impacts of COVID-19 have been exacerbated for women and girls.

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5 min read

Why Investment in Nutrition is Critical? Malnutrition is a global crisis. Poor nutrition has far-reaching implications. On an individual level, it causes people to be more susceptible to illnesses due to weakened immunities. From a wider perspective, malnutrition strains healthcare systems, and causes losses in human capital and workplace productivity. During his sharing, Martin Short, CEO of The Power of Nutrition emphasised that malnutrition costs an estimated US$3.5 trillion annually worldwide.

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5 min read

Virginia’s work with what she calls “the She economy” spans seven years, after she founded Lean In China with a group of friends–starting what became one of China’s leading nonprofits for women. Coming from a career in law and finance, where she worked on investments in the emerging markets for almost a decade, covering more than $30 billion worth of transactions, the potential for business to grow into — or shall we say, lean into — the gender space continues to amaze her.

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Investing in women-led or owned businesses is not enough to achieve women’s economic empowerment. However, that is still not enough to achieve women’s economic empowerment. We need to strengthen existing initiatives that support women economic empowerment and/or address any discriminatory practices. In fact, companies that commit to strong internal gender equality and continuous operational improvements will be superior business performers, both financially and socially.

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The question: “Where does women’s time go?” is significant. How we invest in their time and resources will not only shape communities, but also economies. Yet, we are only working at half-potential. The COVID-19 pandemic is a defining moment for social investors to ensure the decades of development gains do not go to waste. There is no better time for action than the present.

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As SMEs move into the digital space, women entrepreneurs are the face and consumers at the forefront using the services and products in this space. With women making up nearly a third of borrowers, Investree sees increasing the mix of women entrepreneurs as part of their mission as a company to increase impact – providing solutions for the underserved market.

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The Philippines has achieved highest gender parity in Southeast. Yet, gender lens investing has received a lot less attention. By working with philanthropy networks, investors can engage with programmes that support and foster long-term relationships within communities

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7 min read

To fully empower girls and young women, EMpower’s Country Director for India, Nisha Dhawan, tells us how EMpower – The Emerging Markets Foundation embraces  “participatory philanthropy”,  anchoring the opportunity for girls to write their own futures through their Girls Advisory Council in India.

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5 min read

At the end of the day, I believe we all share the same underlying goal of gender equality, and while it’s easy to get distracted by all the details, it’s important to remind ourselves of that!

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4 min read

Gender lens investing entails far more than investing in women. By unleashing women’s economic participation, be it as entrepreneurs, employees, or others, there will be economic and social benefits to not only women, families and communities, but also to their country’s economic development.

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