Being able to generate a regular and independent source of income has a significant impact on a woman’s ability to make decisions and have control over her life.
Yet too often, women around the world are denied the opportunity to earn a decent living.
Barriers to women’s economic justice include constraints on time due to unpaid care work, social norms that limit women’s freedom outside the home, lack of access to finance to start a business, discriminatory policies at work, and the threat of violence or harassment in the workplace.
Gender equality will only be achieved when women have equal access to, and control over resources, and equal participation and influence in economic decision-making. Women’s economic empowerment means women can benefit from economic activities on terms which recognise the value of their contribution, respect their dignity and make it possible for them to negotiate a fair income.
Explore GADN resources and learn more about women’s economic justice.
See GADN webinars for the latest information.
Gender Equality and Macroeconomics (GEM) Project
In the GEM Project, GADN challenges the way in which high-level economic decisions about resources negatively affect women’s rights and gender equality around the world. The project focuses on:
Raising resources: tax, trade and debt
Government spending: austerity, public services, social protection
GADN Working Group
The Women’s Economic Justice Working Group provides a forum for GADN members and other like-minded organisations to build alliances and consensus on the structural nature of women’s economic inequality. The Group develops recommendations to influence the UK Government’s international policies.
More on the issue
Women’s economic empowerment won’t be achieved until governments fundamentally rethink their approach to economic policy. This means recognising the whole spectrum of work – paid and unpaid, inside and outside the home, formal and informal.
Crucially, governments and policy-makers must realise that economic growth alone will not bring about gender equality, and that a more nuanced approach to fostering growth, and redistributing its benefits, is needed. This will require, for example, creating good quality or ‘decent’ work for women, which guarantees basic conditions such as minimum wages and the right to organise. For the many women who are not in formal paid employment, universal social protection schemes that are not linked to employment contributions are particularly important.
IMF and gender equality: operationalizing change (Bretton Woods Project, February 2019)
Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development, (Bretton Woods Project, 2018)
Four things to know about the purple economy (International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, Bretton Woods Project, 2018)
Between work and care: older women’s economic empowerment (Overseas Development Institute, November 2018)
Gender, livelihood capabilities and women’s economic empowerment: reviewing evidence over the life course (Overseas Development Institute, September 2018)
Unpaid care – why and how to invest: policy briefing for national governments (Oxfam, January 2018)
The IMF and gender equality: a compendium of feminist macroeconomic critiques (Bretton Woods Project, October 2017)
Southern-based organisation resources
Watering the leaves, starving the roots (AWID, 2013)
The Power of Investing in Women’s Rights and Empowerment (AWID, July 2011)