United Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation Release New Report on Most Effective Programs for Women's Economic

United Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation Release New Report on
           Most Effective Programs for Women's Economic Empowerment

  PR Newswire

  IRVING, Texas and WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013

-- The Report, A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment,
Identifies Key Interventions for Increasing Women's Productivity and Earnings

IRVING, Texas and WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The United
Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation announced today a new
evidence-based report that identifies proven, promising and high-potential
interventions to promote women's economic advancement around the world. The
report, A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment , provides
funders, NGOs and governments a framework for selecting and implementing
programs that successfully increase women's productivity and earnings in
particular economic and country contexts.

Research has demonstrated that when women are economically empowered,
communities and nations benefit. Yet, until now, there remained a crucial
knowledge gap regarding the most effective interventions that directly advance
women's economic opportunities. To address this gap, the UN Foundation and the
ExxonMobil Foundation joined forces in 2012 to produce A Roadmap for Promoting
Women's Economic Empowerment .

"We know that expanding economic opportunities for women is the right and
smart thing to do. The big question is how," said Mayra Buvinic, UN Foundation
Senior Fellow and lead author of the report. "This report and roadmap draw on
the best available evidence to guide funding and action toward economic
empowerment programs that have demonstrated results and can be scaled for

The report, the first of its kind to gather this breadth of existing research,
summarizes the findings of 18 research studies with a focus on programs across
four categories: entrepreneurship, farming, wage employment and young women's
employment. On the basis of these studies, the project compiled a database of
136 published empirical evaluations of programs and policies. The research
studies and the report systematically analyzed the effectiveness of
interventions in terms of increasing women's productivity and earnings, taking
into account the economic and social contexts. They also looked at the
cost-effectiveness and sustainability of programs to provide a new, reliable
framework for how best to empower women.

"There is widespread agreement that expanding economic opportunities for women
is integral to broader global development and economic progress," said Suzanne
McCarron, President, ExxonMobil Foundation. "We are hopeful this report will
be an important resource for the community of funders, practitioners and
policymakers as they look to shape or strengthen the impact of their

Key lessons from the report include:

  *Proven and Promising Interventions:  Based on strength of empirical
    evidence, the Roadmap identifiesnine proven and nine promising
    interventions.They include savings accounts, proven to increase women's
    productivity and earnings, andthe use of mobile phones, which promise to
    deliver financial services and market information in a cost-effective way
    to womenfarmers and entrepreneurs.
  *The Very Poor Need More : Very poor women need a more intensive package
    of services than less poor women to break out of subsistence production,
    in agriculture and entrepreneurship.
  *In-Kind Assistance : Providing capital in-kind (as inventory, for
    instance) rather than in cash can help nudge women microentrepreneursto
    keep the capital in the business and avoid pressure to divert it to other
    family members or household needs.
  *Wage Employment : Access to childcare increases women's wage employment
    levels and earnings, but design and delivery matter to ensure quality,
    affordable and cost-effective care.
  *Young Women:  Cash grants to poor and very poor young women may increase
    their employment options and resulting income, and have sizeable social
  *Country Context : Whether an intervention works depends on the economic
    situation of the woman and the context in which she lives. In high
    fertility, agrarian economies, for example, programs for women farmers
    need to be complemented by interventions seeking to reduce women's work
    and time burdens, including access to quality family planning and
    reproductive health services. In resource rich economies and small island
    nations, programs should seek to identify and develop domestic and niche
    export markets thatare accessible to women producers.

This report is a joint initiative, building on the shared interests and
expertise of the UN Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation, both of which
have long prioritized the economic empowerment of women as a means of
promoting economic and social development.

For more than a decade, the UN Foundation has helped the United Nations
address the rights and needs of women and girls. The UN Foundation works with
the UN, civil society, governments and the private sector to promote gender
equality, advance reproductive and maternal health, empower adolescent girls,
and eliminate gender-based violence.

The grant awarded to the UN Foundation for this research is part of more than
$60 million invested by ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation in the past
eight years to support the economic advancement of women.

The report and a searchable database of empirical program and policy
evaluations are available at www.womeneconroadmap.org .

About the ExxonMobil Foundation The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary
philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States.
Globally, ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation provide funding to improve
basic education, promote women as catalysts for development, and combat
malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2012,
together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM),
its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $256
million in contributions worldwide. Additional information on ExxonMobil's
community partnerships and contribution programs is available at
www.exxonmobil.com/community .

About the United Nations Foundation The United Nations Foundation builds
public/private partnerships to address the world's most pressing problems, and
broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach.
Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people,
ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was
created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist
Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations,
governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org

United Nations Foundation Katherine Brandon kbrandon@unfoundation.org (202)

ExxonMobil Media Relations (972) 444-1107

Website: http://www.unfoundation.org
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