"Women's empowerment must not be seen as a matter of women versus men but as a matter of better outcomes for all. This shift will require new thinking, a true breakthrough."

- Breakthrough: Overcoming the Obstacles to Equality, Development and Peace." Vital Voices Global Partnership, 2010.

"Forget China, India and the internet: economic growth is driven by women"

- The Economist, April 12, 2006

"I think building up women’s capacity as leaders is getting them to the table; it’s getting them to be part of building the vision."

- Kah Walla, Cameroon

La Pietra Coalition

Who We Are

Since forming in 2009, La Pietra Coalition has worked with the goal of making the economic case for women’s empowerment.

As of 2012, the coalition facilitates an ongoing dialogue between more than 100 representatives from corporations, government, civil society, academia, and the media. Together, they use their collective expertise to set the global agenda on women’s economic empowerment. 

What We Do – and What We Have Accomplished

Since convening at the 2010 and 2011 meetings at Villa La Pietra, the coalition has:

  • Successfully lobbied the G-20 to acknowledge gender within its financial inclusion initiative.

When the G-20 launched its Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) in December 2010, it failed to recognize the need to financially include a key constituency.

Until now. In Spring of 2012, the G-20 acknowledged the need to address challenges specific to women’s financial inclusion and committed to addressing them. Points #23 and #53 in the June 2012 communiqué express this, thanks in no small part to the advocacy efforts of La Pietra Coalition. 

  • Partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to launch and produce the Women’s Economic Opportunity Index (WEOI) 2010 and 2012.

The work done by WEOI assists in comparing policies and practices that impact the ability of women to participate in the formal economy as employees and entrepreneurs. This information is essential for providing the evidence and policy framework for our work and advocacy. More importantly, the data allows groups around the world to see how their country fares compared to others and to leverage this information in order to lobby local leaders for more supportive policies and practices in their societies.

  • Launched an effort to spread awareness of The Third Billion.

In Summer of 2010, the consultancy Booz & Co. published an article analyzing an estimate based on their data that nearly a billion women remain underutilized in the formal economy, but “[a]s growing numbers of women enter the economic mainstream, they will have a profound effect on global business” (Aguirre and Sabbagh, 2010). Based on this, La Pietra Coalition created and launched The Third Billion campaign.  

The Coalition continues to discuss opportunities for next steps in the areas of:

  • Access to Finance
  • Education and Training 
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Labor policy and practice
  • Legal and social status

How We See It

The world’s progress — measured in economic growth, peace and stability, health and education, human rights or the overall well-being of a population — intrinsically relates to the status of women in a society. Now is the time for a sustained, growing, global women’s economic empowerment movement.

As a coalition, we can build on the work we do independently to, together, convince leaders and societies that investing in women’s economic empowerment not only addresses old injustices but takes advantage of new economic opportunities.

The Coalition seeks to make the economic case for women’s empowerment by framing messages and launching initiatives that empower women, leading to stronger economic growth for all. By facilitating partnerships between individuals and organizations, we can achieve this goal more quickly.

The coalition mutually reinforces our credibility, our voice, and ultimately our impact. It will deliver the breakthrough that we need.


View the "Breakthrough" film presented at The Economist's The World In 2011 Festival:


Contact Us

1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 697-5838 (direct)
(202) 296-4142 (fax) 

Follow us on Twitter: @pietracoalition@thethirdbillion 

Like us on Facebook: La Pietra CoalitionThe Third Billion