20 July 2020 | News/Stories

IW forges new partnerships for influencing gender norms

Investing in Women (IW) is supporting local organisations in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam to step up as champions for positively influencing gender norms.

IW has forged partnerships with nine organisations in the three countries to run innovative campaigns that address traditional perceptions of the role of women and men in the economy, at home and in society.

The partner-led campaigns will also highlight the importance of addressing gender norms to ensure an inclusive economic response to and recovery from COVID-19.

In Indonesia, the partners are Magdalene, an independent feminist digital magazine; Rumah Kita Bersama, a research institute respected for their work on transformative interpretations of Islamic text; and psychosocial support organisation Yayasan Pulih.

In the Philippines, IW will work with Edukasyon.ph, an online education marketplace; and QBO Innovation Hub, a public-private partnership that supports local startups.

The partners in Vietnam are leading international NGO CARE International in VietnamECUE, a social enterprise known for gender justice, diversity and inclusion and human rights campaigns; and WISE Vietnam – Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship, a network of startup ecosystem builders supporting women startup leaders.

Campaign partnerships are crucial to the implementation of IW’s Influencing Gender Norms (IGN) Strategy, which recognises the need to address societal expectations of women to fully reap the benefits of workplace gender equality and impact investing to women-owned and women-led small and medium enterprises.

“While the evidence is clear that accelerating women’s economic empowerment is essential to driving inclusive business and economic growth it is concerning that gender inequality persists. Partly this is due to gender norms that discourage women from fully participating in the economy as employees or as entrepreneurs,” Dr Julia Newton-Howes, IW CEO, said.

IW’s Influencing Gender Norms Strategy seeks to positively shift conversations around four key norms that limit women’s economic participation. These are perceptions that (1) women’s primary role is that of carer or homemaker; (2) men’s role is that of primary income earner; (3) certain job types are specific to women and others to men; and (4) men are better in leadership and women better in support roles.

“Through IW’s previous work with advocacy partners, we have seen pockets of positive deviance from these norms, particularly among urban millennial women and men. The campaigns will leverage this demographic as early adopters of perceptions supportive of women’s economic empowerment,” said Alison Aggarwal, IW Gender Advocacy Director.

Through harnessing the ideas, skills and voices of these local partners, Investing in Women aims to catalyse increased public awareness on how gender norms limit women’s economic opportunities and encourage widespread yet well-informed conversations to create positive shifts in gender norms.


For more information on the partners and campaigns, download this brochure on the Influencing Gender Norms Campaigns or email campaigns@iwa.asia. You may also download the IGN Strategy Summary, in EnglishIndonesian or Vietnamese.

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