Tackling injustice | ActionAid UK

Tackling injustice

Global injustice keeps people poor. It means that those in poorest places — especially women and girls — don’t enjoy a level playing field, or the same opportunities to change their situations.

We think that’s unfair, and so we join hands with those suffering injustice to fight their causes and campaign against these root causes of poverty. We work right at the grassroots, with those affected, and we work with those in positions of power to redress the balance and give everyone a fair chance.

One of issues we campaign on is fairer tax, to ensure poorer countries don’t lose out on vital funds for essential services like healthcare, education and clean water.

We also fight discrimination against women and work to change the policies and attitudes that hold women back, like accepting violence or stopping women from learning, or earning a living. We give a voice to the millions of farmers and people hit by climate-related disasters who are finding it ever more difficult to get food, water and shelter.

Standing with those most affected, ActionAid puts pressure on those in power, in governments and corporations to change the policies and practices that keep people poor. It takes time to make these huge changes, but we are in it for the long haul.

The big challenges

  • 100
    Poorer countries lose an estimated $200billion to tax dodging every year – more than the international aid sent by all rich countries put together.
  • 100
    Gender inequality in the workplace costs women in poor countries US$9 trillion each year. This huge inequality exists because women get paid less than men and do not enjoy the same rates of employment.
  • 22
    Only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians were female in 2015.

ActionAid’s approach to helping communities hold governments and institutions to account

HandsWe campaign in the UK and around the world to stop tax avoidance that robs countries of funds needed for public services

TalkingWe put pressure on governments and corporations to change policies and practices that keep people poor

TeachingWe help women secure more and better jobs through training and women’s networks 

Stopping tax avoidance by big companies

When the tax dodging practices of big brands such as Amazon and Starbucks hit the headlines in the UK, many people were justifiably angry. But the sad reality is that tax avoidance isn’t just a problem plaguing our shores.

Around the world, unfair international tax rules allow companies to duck out of paying billions of pounds of tax in developing countries. By starving public services such as schools and hospitals of funds, it’s the poorest people who suffer.

Paying taxes puts money into vital public services

Every year, poorer countries lose out on estimated $200 billion to corporate tax dodging – more than the entire global aid budget. We don’t think that’s fair, and that’s why we’re part of the global campaign to stop tax dodging. It’s time to make tax fair – everywhere.

tax justice coalitions and campaigns have been organised

initiatives set up to help communities to monitor tax revenue and improvements to their public services in 2014 1

An estimated US$7,600 billion — or 8% — of the world’s financial wealth is held offshore

Speaking up for women’s rights

The odds are stacked against women and girls from the day they are born. One in three suffer violence, they are under-represented in politics and positions of power, are worse paid than men, and lack access to education. These constant abuses of their rights keep women in poverty, and hold back their families and communities too.

Supporting women to claim their rights is at the heart of ActionAid’s work to fight poverty and inequality. With activists across the world, we’re changing the policies and attitudes that hold women back.

Why workers’ rights matter

Women dominate the workforce in labour-intensive sectors such as garments in developing countries. 

But deep-rooted gender discrimination means that employers can get away with paying them much less than men would get for the same work.  

Unsafe conditions, exploitative contracts and harassment are also persistent problems. 

ActionAid has been supporting worker’s rights groups in several countries to campaign for fairer pay and safer, more humane, working conditions. 


Page updated 13 May 2019