Gender and development

Women’s Economic Empowerment


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The economic empowerment of women is one of the most fundamental components of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment more broadly. The latest estimate by the World Bank shows that GDP per capita would be almost 20% higher if all gender employment gaps were to be closed. However, focusing on women's economic empowerment alone will not automatically lead to enhanced gender equality: there is a need to also address wider elements of power imbalances in society and look into the root causes of inequalities. The unequal distribution of unpaid care work is one example of this. In addition, there is a need to understand how policies and programmes can create unintended negative impacts and additional barriers for the most vulnerable and marginalised women and girls.

Aid towards gender equality in the productive and economic sectors

Women’s poverty arises, in part, from unequal access to economic resources. Development partners can increase their support for women in business, banking, and financial services, and can better integrate gender equality considerations in programmes for the productive and economic sectors.


Policy approaches to unpaid care work

Enabling Women’s Economic Empowerment: New Approaches to Unpaid Care Work in Developing Countries


Women’s unequal share of unpaid care work can prevent their full participation in the economies of developing countries; however, care needs are growing globally. How can governments and development partners meet the needs of families and communities, while ensuring that all citizens benefit from economic opportunities and fair remuneration? This report focuses on identifying what works to address unpaid care work and sheds light on how governments, donors in the private sector and civil society actors – among others – can design policies to support both those who need care and those who provide care. The report brings together existing knowledge of policy options for unpaid care work across regions, in four policy areas: infrastructure, social protection, public services and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household.


Further reading


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