Women's economic empowerment

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Balancing paid work and unpaid care work

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Connecting perspectives on women’s empowerment

IDS has published a new Bulletin which contributes to understanding of how ideas around empowerment have evolved and how we can move forward to expand women's opportunities and choices and realise women's empowerment in a meaningful way. The editors reflect on the interconnectedness of the economic, social and political components of empowerment and highlight significant gaps in policy and programming. 

Building effective women’s economic empowerment strategies

A new report draws on interviews with multinational companies, as well as a review of literature, company practices and programs, to try and help businesses build effective strategies for women’s economic empowerment. The report focuses on four sectors: information and communications technology, healthcare, financial services, and consumer products.

Quick overview of work on women’s economic empowerment

  • Women’s economic empowerment is widely seen as a necessity for achieving sustainable development.
  • Women’s increasing entry into the labour market, however, has not been matched by a change in the gendered division of unpaid care work – the UNDP Human Development Report 2015 estimates women do 3 out of every 4 hours of unpaid work.
  • True economic empowerment requires a broader understanding that not only incorporates women’s entry into the labour market but also looks at the aspect of ch

Stakeholder meeting takes place in Nepal

Oxfam in Nepal and ISST organised a half day meeting on 17 December in Kathmandu. The audience included representatives from government ministries including Women, Children and Social Welfare, Agriculture Development and Local Development, as well as participants from NGOs. The event included an enriching discussion on the study and the audience gave many useful suggestions for the fieldwork and final analysis.

Data collection underway in India

The first two rounds of data collection for the GrOW project have begun in Rajasthan, India. The ISST India team visited remote tribal villages of two districts in Udaipur and Dungarpur. Surveys of 50 women in each of the districts and participatory activities with groups of women, men and children of these villages revealed hard living and working conditions, combined with discriminatory gender roles that had resulted in acute time poverty and drudgery for women. 

UNDP urges that no one is left behind in the fast-changing world of work

The 2015 Human Development Report is titled ‘Work for Human Development’ and calls for equitable and decent work for all. In doing so, it encourages governments to look beyond jobs to consider the many kinds of work, such as unpaid care, voluntary, or creative work that are important for human development. The report suggests that only by taking such a broad view can the benefits of work be truly harnessed for sustainable development.


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