About the GREAT Women Project
The Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project is a governance and capacity development project that aims to promote and support a gender-responsive enabling environment for women's economic empowerment, particularly those in microenterprises.
The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the national machinery for the advancement of women in the Philippines, is the lead executing agency for the Project. The Commission partnered with key national government agencies involved in micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprise (MSME) development and select local government units to support the project. NCRFW partnered with 12 national government agencies, 8 pilot provincial governments and 35 municipal local government units.
This five-year project (2006-2011) is provided with technical and financial support by the Canadian International Development Agency. Seven million Canadian dollars (Cdn$ 7 Million) in development assistance has been earmarked for the project.
Women's economic empowerment refers to women having access to and control over high-value productive resources, such as information, credit, loans or financial assistance, services training, markets and technology, and increased control over the business environment. With women's economic empowerment, women have decent jobs and humane working conditions, while enjoying benefits from wealth-creating opportunities equal with men.
Women's empowerment works to raise the level of participation that will enable women to make decisions based on their own views and perspectives. As expected outcomes of the process of partnering together for women's empowerment, women (1) obtain women's increased access to economic and/or enterprise-related programs and services, (2) better support services for women's economic and enterprise endeavors, (3) less constraints on women as a result of gender responsive roles and expectations, and (4) better incomes, expanded capabilities and life opportunities.
Capacity Development for Women's Economic Empowerment.
Capacity development to be provided by the GREAT Women Project is aimed at increasing the ability of individuals, organizations, institutions to perform their functions, fulfill their mandates and achieve their goals by integrating gender and women's economic empowerment perspective in their inputs, strategies, processes, and systems. Gender and development and women's economic empowerment become value-adding perspectives to the way national government agencies and local government units develop and implement policies and plans relative to MSME development and deliver programs and services to women in livelihoods and microenterprises.
Capacity development for NCRFW, national and local partners under the GREAT Women Project is in the form of technical assistance, training, coaching and mentoring, provision of tools and knowledge materials and linkaging with experts and specialists from government agencies, private sector or business support organizations, academe, among others. It also constitutes mainstreaming the cross-cutting themes of gender, economic governance, enterprise development and environment in the development planning process of national government agencies and local government units, i.e., policy-making, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
As the GREAT Women Project is a capacity development project, it will not provide microcredit, loan assistance or information on business development to women entrepreneurs. It is not a help desk for women victims of domestic violence or even of business fraud.
Rather, the Project develops the capacities of national and local partners to create or enhance policies, plans, programs and services for women entrepreneurs. As their capacities are developed, national government agencies and local government units become better able in assisting women needing business services, facilities and resources.
Enabling Environment for Women's Economic Empowerment
A gender-responsive enabling environment refers to a combination of policies, programs, institutional mechanisms and similar measures at the national and local levels that promote and facilitate the growth of women's microenterprises to small and medium enterprises. It is also the convergence and synergy of actors in micro-, small- and medium- enterprise (MSME) development at the national and local levels towards gender-responsive economic actions that will provide women with:
- greater access to information, credit, training and technology
- better incomes
- increased participation in high-value economic activities and decision-making in their respective industries and sectors
- better control over productive resources and the business environment
- better work conditions and zero discriminatory practices, social protection and other safety nets for their workers