The big challenges
Poorer countries lose an estimated $200billion to tax dodging every year – more than the international aid sent by all rich countries put together.
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.
Only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians were female in 2015.
ActionAid’s approach to helping communities hold governments and institutions to account
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 avoidance stops girls getting an education
Imagine trying to teach more than 280 children crammed into one stuffy classroom. That’s the daily challenge for teacher Stella who says lack of funding means her school in Malawi is chronically overcrowded.
There are only 12 qualified teachers for more than 1,700 students. “The future of the children here would be brighter if we had enough teachers, learning materials and classrooms for the pupils,” says the 40-year-old.
“It is very hard to hear that there are big companies that come to Malawi and don’t pay their taxes. If they paid their taxes I don’t think we would face these problems.”
A tax treaty from 1955 stops Malawi taxing money that UK companies take out of the country. ActionAid have been tirelessly campaigning to change this treaty – and recently we received the brilliant news that a new treaty is to be arranged soon. But we won’t stop there. We’ll ensure the new treaty is fairer and allows Malawi to raise the tax revenue it needs to fight poverty.
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 offshore2
- 1. ActionAid UK annual report 2014 ↩
- 2. Gabriel Zucman ‘“The Hidden Wealth of Nations”, 2015 ↩
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.