Women’s empowerment and market systems: concepts, practical guidance and tools (WEAMS Framework)

Women's empowerment and market systems: concepts, practical guidance and tools (WEAMS Framework)



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This paper is also available online at the BEAM Exchange

This paper highlights the paradigm shift that must take place in order for market systems initiatives to fully embed women's empowerment and to create sustainable and equitable systems change.

Since its publication in early 2012, the original M4P WEE Framework has been adopted by programmes around the world and led to dialogue on how to prioritise and operationlise women's economic empowerment within M4P initiatives. However, much has changed in market systems programming, women's empowerment thinking and the larger development field. This report makes the case for a new framework and the paradigm shift that needs to take place in order for women’s empowerment to be mainstreamed into market systems development.

The report is structured in three chapters that can be used together or referenced separately:

  • Women’s empowerment and market systems concepts: The first chapter examines and updates the conceptual aspects of a women’s empowerment and market systems framework, supported by recent experiences in the field
  • Practical step-by-step guidance for a WEAMS framework: The second chapter offers practical guidance on women’s empowerment in market systems, using a revised life cycle approach, illustrated by mini-cases and supplemented by links to other resources
  • WEAMS tools: the third chapter includes a suite of tools that have been applied in market systems programmes; implementing agencies have graciously agreed to share these tools with others so that their experiences can benefit the wider market systems community.