Women's economic justice

 ACCRA, GHANA - August 11, 2015: Informal head porter (or kayayei) Daina Otoo sells fish in Agbogbloshie Market. With support from WIEGO, many kayayei in Agbogbloshie have experienced improved social protection. In 2012, WIEGO facilitated a Health Policy Dialogue in Accra with key government, civil society, and informal sector stakeholders, including the kayayei themselves. This allowed the kayayei to discuss and share experiences of Ghanas National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with key health policymakers, who identified possible ways to incorporate these workers into the scheme and explored strategies to provide them with support in accessing health services. It was a successful result: 1,000 kayayei were able to register and gain better information on available health care services through the Ghanaian National Insurance Scheme. August 11, 2015 in Accra, Ghana. (Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage). FULLY RELEASED - CONSENT NUMBER: ACC015

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.

GADN Resources

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Gender Equality and Macroeconomics (GEM) Project

GEM Project

Challenges high-level economic decisions that negatively affect women’s rights and gender equality.

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:

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.

Member resources

Southern-based organisations’ resources

Other resources

Other GADN Issues

📷 Informal head porter (or kayayei) Daina Otoo sells fish in Agbogbloshie Market, Accra, Ghana (August 2015) © Jonathan Torgovnik

GADN Coordinator