Building Bridges for Women’s Economic Empowerment & Resilience

The BBWEE programme takes a holistic approach to realizing women’s economic empowerment and resilience across the value chain. We encourage collaboration between women’s rights organizations and the private sector in order to reach both a social and business return on investment. By leveraging the expertise of local women’s rights organizations and the voices of women workers themselves, we strive to find a ‘win-win’ for both the workers and the business. This 5-year program will focus on sectors and geographies that are key to both The Netherlands market and international trade. With this in mind, the BBWEE is currently addressing the floriculture sector and the supply chain between The Netherlands and Kenya.

Activities overview

The BBWEE programme is delivered under three key strategies, which support our overarching objective to increase companies’ adoption of women’s rights-based approaches within their value chains. Within each strategy WWS and our partnering organisations deliver a variety of activities which include:


Advance the business case for
women’s economic empowerment and resilience

  • Within this strategy we consolidate existing evidence and generate new information to help build the business case for women’s economic empowerment. This includes desk-based research, case studies and ‘live’ knowledge sharing based on the experiences of our partners and their cross-sector collaborations. Learn more here.

Support private sector engagement

  • We aim to support private sector companies to adopt a gender-lens due diligence process that aligns with international standards on responsible business conduct. To reach this objective, the programme supports the development of multiple tools which offer companies practical steps, as well as women-centered tools which include women workers in identifying issues and finding solutions. See these tools here.
  • Within this strategy, WWS has commissioned Equileap to create a ranking of Dutch companies based on gender equality in the workplace and down the supply chain. Read the outcomes of the first report from 2020 here.
  • WWS also engages with private sector companies who are active within the Dutch Agreements (convenanten), to support the integration of a gender lens across their priority areas. We do so through active Knowledge Partnerships and other engagement moments, which create an interactive space platform for open discussions and practical next steps related to this theme.

Strengthen key actors and foster cross-sector partnerships

  • Within this strategy WWS hopes to support women’s rights organizations and funds to define effective and sustainable solutions and strategies for partnering with the private sector. This is done via our ‘Collaborating for Impact’ course content with additional interactive webinar sessions.
  • The programme also offers small seed grants to support cross-sector initiatives (between women’s rights organisations and private sector companies) that aim to bring sustainable and impactful social and business return.

In order to effectively deliver this program, WWS partners with organizations who contribute to the overall outcomes through their expertise and experience. In Year 1 (2020), we collaborated with the following organizations:

  • Equileap
  • Floriculture Sustainability Initiative
  • Hivos, The Netherlands
  • Kenya Flower Council
  • Hivos, Kenya
  • FIDA Kenya
  • Haki Mashinani
  • Workers Rights Watch
  • Sustainable Inclusive Business, KEPSA