On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this session will highlight how heritage and creativity can be key drivers of community development and women’s empowerment. Over the centuries, women have contributed to shaping values, expressions and ways of being. They have been powerful actors in safeguarding and transmitting tangible and intangible heritage and in promoting cultural diversity. Some traditions and promoted cultural values have led to social inequality, segregation and discrimination; on the other hand heritage and creativity have offered and still offer precious keys to activate social change and innovation, giving voice to women’s diverse stories and promoting their economic, social and cultural rights. The panel will aim to adopt recommendations to foster synergies between policies for gender and the mainstreaming of the cultural dimension of development and international cooperation through cultural heritage valuing.