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Women at Work: Regulatory Barriers and Opportunities

Event Date: 
Oct 10, 2018
9:30 am to 11:00 am EDT


McKinsey & Company estimates that if women could work for income in exactly the way men do, the global gross domestic product would increase by 26 percent between 2015 and 2025. To unlock that productivity, USAID's Trade & Regulatory Reform office commissioned research on legal and regulatory barriers that adversely affect women’s access to wage employment, as well as examples of solutions in USAID host countries. This research examines how laws and regulations in developing and transitional countries limit or enable women to enter, remain and advance in the formal sector workforce. Nathan Associates published the findings in a report, Women's Wage Employment in Developing Countries: Regulatory Barriers and Opportunities. Access the full report in the sidebar. 

On October 10th, 2018, Marketlinks heard from report author Lis Meyers of Nathan Associates and Kenana Amin of USAID's Mission in Jordan, who spoke to the challenges in the Jordanian context. 


Bekkering headshot
Bekkering (TBC)
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3)

Michelle Bekkering joined USAID in July 2017 and serves as the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3). Concurrently, Ms.

Bekkering serves as the Agency’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment where she oversees the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment portfolio for the Agency. Prior to joining USAID, Bekkering was the Director for Global Initiatives and Senior Gender Advisor at the International Republican Institute (IRI), where she managed cross-sectoral global programs with a focus on parliamentary strengthening, people-to-people exchanges, leadership development initiatives, and the political inclusion of women and youth. At the same time, Bekkering served as the Institute’s senior gender advisor, providing strategic leadership, technical assistance and training for IRI’s initiatives to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality. She also served as guest lecturer for the Gender Equality Course at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, and as a member of the U.S. State Department’s Speakers and Specialists Program. Bekkering has also served in numerous positions in the U.S. Government including the European and Eurasian Affairs Directorate of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush and as an aide to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46). Bekkering graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa and studied at the Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands.

headshot for Ana Guevera
Senior Adviser, Trade and Economic Growth

In February 2018, USAID Administrator Mark Green named the Honorable Ana M. Guevara the Senior Advisor for Trade and Economic Growth. Ms.

Guevara is a respected figure in both government and business sectors with extensive experience in international trade, customs, transportation, and development. She was formerly Vice President at two Fortune 50 companies (UPS and Walmart), Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank Group, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Trade for Service Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and an active member of nonprofit executive boards and think tanks. Over the years, Ms. Guevara has promoted and led initiatives on women’s economic empowerment with governments, NGO’s, private sector, and multilateral organizations. Her track record of achievement is a result of optimizing the nexus of international policy and business with social impact through strategic partnerships. She received her B.A. in public and international affairs from George Washington University.

Headshot of Kenana Amin

Kenana Amin is a senior specialist with the USAID/Jordan Program Office.

She currently serves as the Gender Team Leader as well as the Team Leader for the Monitoring, Evaluation and Project Design teams. In her 20 years with USAID/Jordan, Kenana has played a key role in a variety of areas, including strategy development, gender equality, participant training, outreach and communication, performance monitoring and evaluation and project design.

Headshot of Lis Meyers

Ms. Meyers is a Managing Associate at Nathan Associates, where she leads gender and women’s economic empowerment programing across Nathan’s portfolio of international projects.

She recently undertook research for USAID on legal and regulatory barriers that affect women’s wage employment. The report includes analysis to understand how policies and regulations limit or enable women to enter, remain, and advance in the workforce, including restricting employment of women, requiring occupational licenses, addressing employment discrimination, prohibiting and addressing sexual harassment, and enabling parents to work.

With over a decade of expertise in gender integration work across sectors, Ms. Meyers has led research on women’s role in cross border trade, addressing social norms in women’s financial inclusion, child, early, and forced marriage, and the potential of impact sourcing to generate employment opportunities for vulnerable populations. Ms. Meyers facilitates the SEEP Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group and chaired the Technical Advisory Committee for the 2017 Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. She is also an experienced trainer and has facilitated gender integration trainings in the U.K. and across Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Persuasive Communication workshops for women entrepreneurs and workers. She has a BA from Brown University and an MSc with Distinction from The London School of Economics.

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