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Proposed Multi-country Women’s Economic Empowerment Program in Southeast Asia – Women in Inclusive Sustainable Economic Recovery (WISER) – investment concept summary brief

DFAT is currently designing a future women's economic empowerment program in Southeast Asia – working title Women in Inclusive Sustainable Economic Recovery (WISER) – as a successor program to Investing in Women. It is anticipated to be up to AUD80 million in value, initially for four years.

Subject to design completion and delegate approval DFAT anticipates undertaking a two-step procurement process with first step Request for Expressions of Interest, via the AusTender website likely in the first three months of 2022.


Women will have a pivotal role in building a more cohesive, dynamic, sustainable and inclusive economy in Southeast Asia post pandemic. Beginning in mid-2023 this program will work, primarily with the private sector, but also with policy makers, to support countries in the region to position women at the centre of economic recovery and accelerate opportunities to advance their economic empowerment.


The 2021 review of the Investing in Women (IW) program (2016-23, in Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar) recommended a successor program to continue to focus on influencing business practices for workplace gender equality, tackling adverse social norms, and using blended finance instruments to move capital with a gender lens. The new WISER program will also provide targeted support to selected focus areas and local reform agendas that will have a significant impact in advancing women's economic empowerment. Technical support for country-level legislative and policy reform priorities that will impact women's economic empowerment will increase synergy with DFAT's bilateral and regional gender equality priorities.

The program may expand to additional countries such as Cambodia and Laos, as well as countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand who may also benefit from and contribute to efforts to accelerate women's economic empowerment in the region.


Investing in Women Review


This information is provided for planning purposes only and it does not represent solicitation or constitute a request for proposal, nor is it a commitment to purchase or tender for any described services. The scale, scope and focus of any proposed program may change at any time and is subject to formal approval by the Australian and partner Governments before any procurement process will commence. Should a procurement be approved, it is expected to commence in first half of 2022. This information is subject to delays, revision or cancellations.

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