Representatives of ILO partner organizations from across the region gathered in early September for two workshops to increase their knowledge on delivering gender-inclusive business development services.
Selected participants from the workshop
The two workshops, which took place virtually on the 5th and 7th of September, were designed to provide foundational-level capacity building on gender-inclusive service provision, for partners involved in the design and delivery of financial and non-financial business development services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
35 participants joined the workshops from countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand. Participants represented several organizations including employers’ organizations, government agencies, NGOs working on women and youth issues.
The workshops covered content in the publication > “Gender Inclusive Service Provision: A Quick Guide for Financial and Business Development Service Providers”, which was released in February 2022. The workshops were interactive and included practical examples and discussions in break out rooms, allowing participants to learn more about the basics of gender-inclusive service provision including key terms, gender-inclusive programme design and delivery and how to identify gender gaps and measure success.
Participants expressed their appreciation for the ability to incorporate their “own experiences and learnings about the topic” and for being able to hear and exchange ideas with people from various backgrounds. The workshops were co-organized by three different projects supporting MSMEs in the region: the “Rebuilding Better: Fostering Business Resilience Post COVID-19” Project, the “Decent Work in the Garment Sector Supply Chains in Asia” Project. The ILO also partnered with the organization Value for Women who facilitated both sessions.
Part of the ILO’s ongoing efforts to support an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshops sought to foster greater gender equality and inclusiveness in financial and business development service