Women’s economic rights | ActionAid UK

Women’s economic rights


What’s our position on economic inequality?

ActionAid is calling on governments, businesses and international institutions to create the necessary conditions to end this pervasive economic inequality and fulfill women’s economic rights. This means ensuring that all women can enjoy their right to decent work and that their unpaid care work is recognised, reduced and redistributed, including between households and the state.

Read our latest reports:

How the IMF's tax policies are failing women


How the IMF’s tax policies are failing women

Towards gender-just trade

From rhetoric to rights

Towards a gender-just approach to trade

Stitching a better future

Stitching a better future

Is Vietnam’s boom in garment manufacturing good for women?


See all ActionAid’s policy reports


What are our findings on economic inequality?

  • 1

    Women in developing countries lose out on US$9 trillion a year due to unequal wages and the fact that women have less access than men to paid jobs.

  • 2

    Women work four more years than men, in their lifetimes, due to their disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care.

  • 3
    In poor countries, women in precarious forms of work are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than those in secure work.



Our recommendations on women's economic empowerment

  1. Governments and corporate actors should guarantee women’s access to and enjoyment of decent work opportunities.
  2. Recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care responsibilities that fall disproportionately on women.
  3. Ensure that economic policies work for women, not against them, and end the pursuit of growth at any cost.

Progress on women's economic empowerment

UN recognised effects of macro-economic policy on women’s economic empowerment

In 2016 ActionAid and others successfully argued for the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel to recognise the effects of macro-economic policy on women’s economic empowerment, something it had failed to do up to that point. The final report of the panel in 2017 will reflect these issues.

Influenced recognition of importance of gender equality in delivering inclusive growth

Pressure from civil society organisations, including ActionAid, has helped shift the priorities of the International Monetary Fund to recognise the criticality of gender equality in delivering inclusive and sustainable growth.


Page updated 13 August 2020