Are women included in the private turn? : a case study on how women's empowerment is taken into account in Finnfund's investments to the global south
DisciplineKansainvälinen kehitystyö (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation
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The overall aim of the research was to study how women and women’s empowerment are included in private finance for development. During recent years, the importance of private finance for development has increased while public finance in many countries has decreased. This phenomenon, the private turn in development finance, has been present in development policies worldwide. The research was conducted as a case study on the private turn in Finland, focusing on the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd, Finnfund. The research aimed at studying how women are taken into account in Finnfund’s investments to the global South, and how, if in any way, Finnfund strives to empower women through its investments. Moreover, the research aimed at finding out whether the first two priority areas in Finland’s development policy, enhancing women’s status and rights and strengthening developing countries’ economies, support one another. Being a case study, the data was varied and consisted of two expert interviews and Finnfund’s official documents. The data was analyzed following thematic analysis, and feminist approaches to development served as a theoretical framework for the research. The findings of the study indicate that women’s concerns are incorporated in Finnfund’s work. Finnfund uses gender lens investing approach in its investments and strives to empower women economically through its investments. Despite of that, the findings illustrate that Finnfund largely fails to take into account women’s reproductive roles, has limited effort to change unequal norms, and does not reach the most vulnerable people in the global South. Nevertheless, the findings indicate that Finnfund has an important role in Finland’s development policy. Based on the research, some policy recommendations can be given to Finnfund. These include stronger implementation of the gender equality statement and enhanced execution of gender mainstreaming. More broadly, the policy recommendations include increasing public finance to the areas in which private finance for development works poorly. These include advocacy work, concerns related to women’s reproductive roles, and empowerment of the most vulnerable people. ...
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