How gender-inclusive international development can help end poverty and inequality

Gender equality is integral to EWB's mission of achieving systemic change and creating a more just society

EWB’s values – to dream big and work hard, address root causes for impact, strive for humility, invest in people, courageously commit, and ask tough questions – are key to who we are, what we do, and how we do it. And after asking some tough questions about ourselves and how we can create a greater impact around the world, EWB is courageously committing to gender inclusion.

We can’t address the root causes of global poverty and inequality, and achieve our vision of a more sustainable and inclusive economic system, if we don’t. We need to invest in people – in women and girls – to have this impact.

This means we are conscientiously integrating gender-based analysis, activities and targets into our existing programs, spaces and conversations.

Our full gender statement articulates our approach, but in sum:

EWB believes that gender discrimination is a root cause of global poverty and economic inequality, and the achievement of gender equality is integral to our mission of achieving systemic change and creating a more just society.

In our impact investing work, this means that we are listening to the needs, challenges and opportunities identified by women entrepreneurs and investors, investing in and building the capacity of women-led social enterprises, and opening new spaces and modes of financing for women who are having a transformational impact in their communities.

In our policy and advocacy work, this means that we are advocating for gender-inclusive policies and institutions, supporting the advancement and resourcing of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, and working in partnership with policymakers and civil society organizations to advance these aims.

In our leadership development work, this means that we are integrating gender into our systems change leadership program, looking to our community-led gender distributed team for guidance, and ensuring that the young women who make up 50 percent of our chapters and fellows are active leaders, participants and stakeholders in our organization.

At an organizational level, we recognize gender equality as a key to systems change and are integrating gender-based analysis into all of our organizational strategies and guiding principles (including our vision, mission and values). We are also increasing our organizational knowledge and capacity to do this work by providing training and hiring staff with expertise in gender-based analysis and practice. We believe that this approach to gender inclusion will make our impact investing, policy and advocacy, and leadership development work all the more powerful.

Our mission is to bring people and ideas together to tackle the most crucial causes of poverty and inequality. That means we that we need to take an intersectional approach and recognize the differing advantages and opportunities, barriers and challenges, facing women, men and gender non-conforming persons in Canada and around the world, and to invest in their potential as entrepreneurs, change-makers and leaders. It can’t be one-size-fits-all.

By taking a gender-inclusive approach, we’ll be better able to address the root causes of global poverty and inequality, and to create a sustainable and inclusive economic system. And that’s how we – all EWB members, donors, supporters and partners – will change the world.

Want to learn more about EWB’s approach to gender inclusion, share ideas, or get more involved? Email!

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  • Donate to support our investments in women-led social enterprises, policy and advocacy, and systems change leaders across Canada!
  • Use this event finder or connect with the Women’s Centre (or equivalent) on your local campus or women’s organizations in your community to find an International Women’s Day event near you!
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