Pressure to Act
The Women’s Eco-Nomic and Social Think Tank (WESTT) is a leading Women’s Think Tank with global dimensions focussing on the economic, environmental and social development of women. At a political level it is also lobbies to raise awareness on key issues but never for commercial gain.
Through its international connections and experts at all levels of government, corporate and development agencies, WESTT is able to assemble panels of all divisions of social partners, employers, employee representatives, NGOs, institutions and academia to analyse challenges and create opportunities.
WESTT knows challenges cannot be addressed in isolation, the key to overcoming the barriers are grass roots, relevant knowledge and multi-stakeholder participation; and to that end, WESTT is a multidimensional Think Tank consisting of both men and women, young and old.
Women’s issues are not gender concerns only to be addressed by women. They have social and economic values and can only be solved with men included in the discussions also.
‘WESTT seeks to be free thinking, apolitical (even where undertaking government contracts) innovative and practical. Retaining local knowledge, combined with international best practice expertise and models, real issues are debated and the outcomes, concrete proposals and recommendations presented as deliverable, relevant and able to be implemented’.
Whilst there are a number of organisations around the world supporting Women and initiatives for their empowerment and betterment, no one organisation from our research, as yet, is truly providing a holistic solution which encompasses the Social and Eco-nomic outputs which are measured and driven from within each programme, project and initiative for sustainability.
At WESTT, we lead in the invention, development and delivery of research and turn it into practical solutions, which can be tried and tested, amended and ultimately developed into policy changes for the benefit of society underpinned by the triple bottom line: People, Planet and Profit. Additionally, through our development framework we have also included Purpose and Partnership. Hence the five P’s of Sustainability for WESTT are:
Purpose // People // Planet // Partnership // Profit
WESTT’s core activities cover the following Framework
- Research, benchmarking and local assessment brought together through expert and local panel analysis
- Project design with relevant concrete proposals to create sustainability, transparency and local relevance.
- Project delivery with measurable outcomes, evaluations and monitoring
- On-going support and intervention – including train the trainer, mentoring shadowing and constant effective communication
- Follow up and monitoring to ensure longevity and continuation of the project – including the creation of toolkits and networks.
- Publication and dissemination of reports, analysis and feedback to increase capacity building.
A common theme throughout our work is that Individuals and Organisations (groups of People or Business) hold the same weight in importance in terms of shareholder and stakeholder value. The inclusive working environment leads to a self-fulfilling network for growth and prosperity where terms such as profitability, sustainability, investment and productivity, are not limited to only corporate terminology.
WESTT is a global organisation working countries at all levels of development and growth. To bridge the gap between the Developed and the Developing Countries, WESTT must ensure cross fertilisation of expertise and methodologies that work to deliver sustainability. A common purpose, working in partnership, promoting urban and rural sustainability around the World will bring equity, abundance, peace and security.
- Equality and female participation in the decision making process is far from adequate especially in times where women and children are the most impacted by war, crime, employment or education opportunities, discrimination and climate change
- Global targets towards poverty alleviation, reduction of inequalities, access to basic life resources and access to education, skills or training are not achieved
- UN declarations, ILO conventions and Global Compact conventions, such as Rio +20 and MDGs are far from being reached or implemented
- Sustainability Strategies driven by Women are widely accepted by organisations as successful initiatives
- The need for a framework that embraces Women Empowerment & CSR solutions that are having a Positive impact on the balance sheet are being sought
- Government frameworks are being put in place to drive initiatives but many need implementing and a momentum to be pushed forward.
- Governments and Companies will look for external advice to meet their targets that they are unable to achieve through internal processes
- Local people, corporations and policy makers hold the key to solving the shortfall in Economic and Social issues that can be filled by raising the profile and positive outputs of initiatives by linking the plans with Education and Employers to drive change from grassroots
- Government policy can be influenced by private companies with the support of a robust framework that also provides economic stimuli
- With the advent of the financial crisis in the West and following the uprisings of the Arab spring, Women’s Social and Economic Rights are deteriorating.