HMSG Geographical Society Lunchtime Lecture – 16th October 2014

November 7, 2014

Women’s economic empowerment – Stories from women of the developing world

Dr Peter Mackie, Cardiff University

HMSG’s Geographical Society welcomed Dr Mackie back for his third lunchtime lecture, this year on the topic of women’s economic empowerment in the developing world. Mr Meek’s classroom was packed to the rafters with 52 enquiring minds from Years 10-13.

The lecture covered a number of key themes:

  • The global feminization of poverty
  •  Inequalities faced by women across the developing world
  •  Economic empowerment of women as a key solution to alleviating global poverty
  •  Barriers which lie in the way of pursuing women’s economic empowerment
  •  Dr Mackie’s recent studies in Peru and Ethiopia, and possible solutions that have emerged

Pupils were posed numerous questions:

“In what ways do you think women and girls fare worse than men and boys across the developing world?”

“What do you think might be the barriers/challenges to women seeking employment in the developing world?”

Dr Mackie concluded by saying that women across the developing world face considerable inequalities and poverty. Economic empowerment is one of the key solutions to this significant global challenge. We face major barriers in realising the economic empowerment of women: machismo, religion and culture, socio-economic and poor connectivity. However, there are solutions for example improving conditions in the informal economy, establishing legal rights, formalising working conditions, collective bargaining, access to materials and money (micro finance schemes), improving connectivity through transport improvements and access to media and mobile networks.

We must prioritise women’s economic empowerment and in doing so we will make a great advance in fighting global inequalities and poverty.

It was a superb lecture, observing 52 pupils intellectually engaged and being challenged to think at a higher level the key role that women can play in improving the lives of millions in the developing world.

We look forward to inviting Dr Mackie back to HMSG next year when he has promised to discuss his research on the impact of conflicts on society. He hopes to be visiting Rwanda and Nepal in the near future.

Mr Jones