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The IORA-UN Women Women’s Economic Empowerment Project

IORA is collaborating with UN Women to strengthen research on women’s economic empowerment, and promote the Women’s Empowerment Principles in the region, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

UN Women’s Promoting women’s economic empowerment in the Indian Ocean Rim project was launched in 2018 with the support of the Australian Government and in collaboration with IORA. The project will be implemented over a period of three years (2018-2021) and will build on an earlier UN Women-IORA project supported by Australia, which produced a baseline study of women’s economic empowerment, Enabling Women’s Contributions to the Indian Ocean Rim Economies  (2015) and an interactive infographic, Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Indian Ocean (2017).


Research: The project is supporting two substantive research reports to help fill the gaps concerning women’s economic empowerment in the region. The first study is a detailed research report on the status of women’s participation in the fisheries sector, and was launched by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, on 17 December 2020.  The second study will build upon the 2015 baseline report and explore emerging issues for women’s economic empowerment more broadly in the region.


Capacity building: The project is also conducting capacity-building activities virtually (by webinar) and in person in the region, to foster enabling environments for women’s economic empowerment. The focus is encouraging IORA-wide adoption and implementation of the well-established Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).


The project is set to finish by 2021.


To learn more or to get involved in the project, monitor our social media for upcoming activities (tentatively listed below) or contact


Upcoming activities (tentatively scheduled, monitor our social media for updates):

  • 12 January 2021: Webinar: Reignite commitment: Sharing the latest tools, guidance and good practices for implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) - Register here
  • Week of 1 February 2021: Webinar: Women Entrepreneurs Virtual Café
  • 25-27 January, 9-11 February 2021: IORA Workshop on Gender-Responsive Government Procurement (over period of 3 days)
  • Week of 22 February 2021: Webinar: Gender Responsive Procurement in the Private Sector (based on training for public sector)
  • Week of 8 March 2021: Webinar: Good Practices of Private and Public Sector to Provide Targeted Financial Products to Women Entrepreneur
  • Week of 5 April 2021: Webinar: Highlight how WEPs signatories are using their power and resources to protect the rights and physical and mental wellbeing of their employees in context of COVID
  • Week of 19 April 2021: Webinar: Exchange for representatives of Chambers of Congress on how to promote the WEPs to new potential companies
  • Week of 3 May 2021: Webinar: Gender and Tourism
  • Week of 10 May 2021: Workshop: Gender and resilience in the context of climate change (TBC)


Past Activities:

A recording of this webinar is available here.

A recording of this webinar is available here.

A recording of this webinar is available here.

A recording of this webinar is available here.


The project supports IORA’s broader work on Women’s Economic Empowerment.


Press Release