What are our findings on economic inequality?
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.
Women work four more years than men, in their lifetimes, due to their disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care.
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
- Governments and corporate actors should guarantee women’s access to and enjoyment of decent work opportunities.
- Recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care responsibilities that fall disproportionately on women.
- 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.
Tackling women’s unfair burden of unpaid care
29-year-old Hajara Saleh from Nigeria used to have an immense amount of housework to do because, in addition to her immediate family, she had to cater for her parents-in-law.
Hajara said that she used to work so hard that she couldn’t always stand straight and was hospitalised a couple of times.
“I did everything – all the work!” she said. “Fetching water, cooking, washing clothes and going to buy and sell in the market,” as well as caring for her three children.
But with support from ActionAid’s unpaid care work programme, her husband began to support her more with the household work. “After the Unpaid Care Work meetings,” she explained, “my husband and I would sit and talk about it. He came to understand that it is a very serious issue.”