International cooperation 4
INTERNATIONALCOOPERATION FOR FUNDING WOMEN PROGRAM
InternationalCooperation for Funding Women Program
Investingin women programs is an essential path to achieving the millenniumdevelopment goals (MDGs). Women are a major pillar of any society andcontribute to the wellbeing of not only their families but also thecommunity as a whole (Devi, 2012, p. 3). Funding their programs goesis at the epicenter of empowerment. Even with the widespreadrecognition of the need to empower women, not much has been done tothat effect. Individual countries across the globe have developedstrategies to empower women through funding of their leadershipprograms, but there is a need, now more than ever before forcooperation at the international level so that even more significantresults can be witnessed.
Reportsfrom the UNDP indicate that transformational benefits are bound toemerge when there is an investment in women. Currently, fundingavailable to support women programs is meager. For instance, in theUnited States, only about 6 percent of funds from private foundationsare channeled towards programs that can empower women (Womenreinvented, 2010, p. 19). This is also true for organizations inEurope. A recent study has been able to establish that foundation inEurope set apart an estimated 10 percent of funds to go towardsprograms that can benefit women (Goswami, n.d., p. 8). Thesestatistics indicate that it is difficult for women to access fundsboth at the local level and at the international scale.
Toaddress the problem of limited funding for women programs, theleaders of the G20 countries in 2011 unanimously agreed to afinancial inclusion agenda. This plan was heralded to expand theaccess of women to finance. This schedule proposed a set ofrecommendations aimed at streamlining policies especially in thedeveloping countries to create an enabling environment for women toaccess financial services. Among the recommendations includecountries coming up with specific strategies to include dimensions ofgender in their economic programs and expansion of financial servicesto reduce the cost of borrowing. Others include capacity building fororganizations offering financial services so that they can serve thefinancial needs of women better and investing in education andawareness programs for women (Devi, 2012, p. 3).
Inlight of the new 2030 global roadmap as well as the sustainabledevelopment goals (SDGs), the UN Women has come up with an ambitiousplan to rally member states behind supporting women and their variousprograms. UN Women recognizes women as a pillar without which theattainment of the millennium development goals will remain distant.For instance, in the alleviation of poverty, the women bodyrecognizes that women engage in meaningful economic activities thatgenerate income for their households (UN Women, 2015, p. 52). To endpoverty, UN Women advocates that training and financial access shouldbe made available to women. This will give them a voice, and theywill work to ensure that the society is a better place for allhumanity.
Tothis end, women are crucial to the attainment of the millenniumdevelopment goals. Lack of financial inclusion policies in variouscountries has limited the advancement of female programs. Leaders ofthe G20 countries in 2011 adopted a financial inclusion agenda toexpand access to finance for women. It was recommended that allcountries should come up with concrete policies that will see genderdimensions being included in their financial programs. The calls bythe UN Women to increase financial access to women as a strategy forattaining the SDGs, as well as the G20 financial inclusion agenda,will likely increase international cooperation for funding of womenprograms.
DEVI,R. (2012). Women Empowerment through Entrepreneurship. GJRA,3(8), pp.1-3.
Goswami,S. (n.d.). Impact of Gender Budgeting on Women Empowerment. SSRNElectronic Journal.
UNWomen. (2015). ChoiceReviews Online,52(10), pp.52-59.
Womenreinvented. (2010). Brooklyn, N.Y.: LaChance.