2008 Ministerial Roundtable: Winning Best Practices

Winning Best Practices

Public/Private Sector Projects Advancing
Women and Girls’ Economic Opportunities

In recognition of these exemplary projects, the
Global Summit of Women awarded $5,000 towards each
project at the 2008 Global Summit of Women.

Best Practices Award Winners reporting on their projects at the Plenary session:
From left: Hon. Elizabeth Thabethe, Hon. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, Ms. Gerri Elliot of Microsoft, and Hon. Patricia Espinosa Torres

Project Winners

Project 1: 

Country: Antigua and Barbuda
Hon. Dr. Quinn Leandro(Antigua) presents her project during the Plenary session.

Title of Program: Partnership and Opportunities for Employment (POE)

Presented by: Minister Hon. Dr. Jacqui Quinn Leandro, Minister of Labour, Public Administration & Empowerment

Partnership and Opportunities for Employment (POE)

The Partnership and Opportunities for Employment Program (POE) is an empowerment program geared toward unemployed and underemployed young women to provide work and life skills. The program aims to educate and provide young women with the necessary skills to enter the job market and create viable employment opportunities.  In partnership with the corporate community, this comprehensive training program empowers women to deal with life skills and includes areas such as reproductive health and rights; job readiness; Information Communication Technologies and civic education.

The 16-week program aims to prepare young women for the world of work, by providing valuable information for young people to successfully meet the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood.  It also helps them to gain knowledge about themselves, sexuality, prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, HIV/AIDS, goal setting, decision-making, employment preparation and other related topics such as job-ready information and communication technology.  The program started in 1996 and to date over 45 young women per year have been assisted in finding viable employment opportunities in the private sector – the hotel industry, the financial sector, security sector, etc.  The program is a collaborative initiative between the Directorate of Gender Affairs, Gilbert Agriculture Rural Development, the Ministries of Youth Affairs, Health, Social Transformation and the Private Sector.

Project 2:

Country: South Africa
Irene Natividad presents the award to Deputy Minister Thabethe of South Africa during the Plenary session.

Title of Program: Promoting Girl Entrepreneurship

Presented By: Deputy Minster Hon. Elizabeth Thabathe; Department of Trade and Industry


Hon. Elizabeth Thabethe

Promoting Girl Entrepreneurship

The South African Department of Trade and Industry’s Promoting Girl Entrepreneurship Program aims to promote and encourage entrepreneurship and use of information technology among girls so that they can contribute to the country’s economic development and growth by becoming creators of wealth and job opportunities.  Objectives of the program include identifying schools that have a high performance rate of girls in the subject areas of economics, science, and technology; providing girls with a platform to debate and engage on their entrepreneurial ideas; as well as providing them  with role models — successful women entrepreneurs to share their ideas and knowledge.  The intent behind these efforts is to create an economic future for the participants that will avert the current pattern of early sexuality, lack of employment prospects and eventual poverty.

The project allows for an entrepreneurial day in the form of a weekend away girls camp at which presentations are made on entrepreneurial ideas by the girls.  The camp also includes presentations on successful business models by established business owners, motivational talks on realizing their dreams, and lectures on topics including health and sex education.  From the student presentations, prizes are awarded to three winners.

Project 3:

Country: Mexico

Undersecretary Espinosa Torres accepts the Best Practice award on behalf of the Mexican Ministry of Labor.

Title of Program: Child-Care Center Program

Presented by: Hon. Patricia Espinosa Torres, Undersecretary of Labor, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare

Child-Care Center Program

The Child-Care Center Program began in January 2007 throughout Mexico to help unemployed women find jobs and to improve women’s work opportunities by increasing the supply of child-care services by creating a Child-Care Center Network.  To date, the Mexican government has established 6,874 day-care centers that benefit 154,814 working mothers of 168,770 children.   As part of the program, the Mexican government provides up to US$70 per month per child enrolled in the Child-Care Center Program to support each working mother.   The program also helps unemployed women open Child-Care centers to earn an income and provides the necessary training to each women opening a center.

The private sector has been involved in promoting the creation of child-care centers placed at their businesses.  The program has been successful in generating access opportunities for working mothers with low income wages in the private sector.  International organizations such as the Mexican Chapter of Save the Children and Christian Children’s Fund, among others, have partnered in implementing training workshops for the women responsible for the care centers in subjects related to child care and development activities.