Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Women in developing countries and all over the world need and demand change today.

The case for action to lift the status of women in the economy is not new. However, despite its potential to yield benefits for women, the economy and for wider society, making women’s economic equality a reality is still a far-off dream. In 2014 The Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum confirmed that progress remains excruciatingly slow and huge gender gaps continue to divide across and within regions.104 Data analysed for 111 countries shows that over almost a decade, the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by only 4% from 56% in 2006.105 While there is no simple one size fits all solution, it is clear that efforts made by the international community and business leaders to fix the problem have so far failed to tackle the major causes of exploitation in women’s work.

With the new development framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, and as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Platform for Action the time has come to mend the gaps in the broken and unequal economy by ensuring that women can enjoy equality of access to, and recognition and reward for their work. Governments, international institutions and business leaders must all take up this opportunity to tackle women’s economic inequality. ActionAid is calling for concerted action to recognise, reward and value women’s work in its entirety – from caring for families and communities, to toiling long hours on the factory floor – and to address the prevailing forms of discrimination that women face in accessing decent work and in bearing an unequal burden of caring responsibilities.

Addressing the root causes and taking a transformational approach to the issue of women’s economic inequality will benefit people, countries, businesses and the economy, and will lead to a more just, sustainable and growing economy for all.

Urgent action is needed to:
1) Guarantee women’s access to and enjoyment of decent work
 2) Recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care responsibilities that fall disproportionately on women
3) Ensure that the economy works for women, not against them, and end the pursuit of growth at any cost
4) Promote women’s voice, agency and leadership at all levels


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