Not just lip service

Advancing women's economic justice in industrialisation.

Executive summary

Women all over the world endure discrimination, poverty and violence simply because they are women. Despite having the right to participate in economic life without discrimination, patriarchal norms underpinning state, social and family dynamics block them from doing so.

Because current economic models are part and parcel of this patriarchal system, there is very little recognition of the contribution that women make to the economy through their unpaid care and domestic work and how this huge contribution is a barrier for women’s access to more and better jobs, leadership positions and equal pay.

Global and country specific efforts to end women’s economic inequality must therefore tackle the problem through many fronts and reshape economic models so they work for women.

One way for countries to reach this target is to design and implement gender just industrial policies, which shoud:

  • Explicitly aim to provide more and better jobs and economic opportunities for women and improve women’s access to them
  • Commit to building good quality public services to address women’s unpaid care burden
  • Break siloes between social and economic policies, while mainstreaming gender policies.