Rethinking gender-responsive procurement: Enabling an ecosystem for women’s economic empowerment

Authors/editor(s): Anna Gollub, Charleine Mbuyi Lusamba, and Jaylan ElShazly

This publication, prepared by UN Women and the International Labour Organization, proposes an evolved vision of gender-responsive procurement (GRP) that leaves no one behind and creates outcomes for gender equality and women’s empowerment, not only opportunities. This vision would contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals 5 and 8, which focus on gender equality and decent work respectively.

Starting from the “buy from women-owned” approach, which seeks to offer equal opportunities for women’s enterprises to access markets, the brief then takes a step forward to consider the potential to leverage gender-responsive procurement for expanded benefits to all women in value chains as a means to address gender inequality. This culminates in an expanded approach to gender-responsive procurement that favours gender-responsive enterprises regardless of ownership, thereby potentially allowing all women and men to benefit from decent business and employment opportunities.

The publication further posits a GRP ecosystem as a prerequisite for the transformation, and finally makes a call to action for concrete ways to make this vision a reality.

Finally, the paper applies these concepts in the context of COVID-19.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Economic empowerment; Employment; Entrepreneurship; Markets; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Resource type: Issue papers

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2021

Number of pages: 24

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); International Labour Organization (ILO)