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Women's Economic Empowerment

June 02, 2021 1804

Women’s economic empowerment is defined as a process by which women expand their right to make economic decisions that benefit them and their communities, with fair and equitable access to financial resources. Women’s economic empowerment sets a path for women’s economic development by reducing poverty and the gender gap.

Key Facts about Women and the World of Work

Labour Market Participation

Women are still less likely to take part in the labour market worldwide as compared to men. In 2018, the women’s global workforce participation rate was around 48 percent, and lower by nearly 27 percentage points than men.

Over-representation of Women in Informal employment

Women contribute more than twice than men, informally and pro bono to family occupations such as agricultural workers, in low- and middle-income countries. Also, women are given to spend more than twice the time on unpaid domestic chores and caregiving than men. This time spent is inversely proportional to women’s rate of participation in the labour market, and if unpaid care work were to be attached a value monetarily, it would contribute to at least 10 percent of the GDP.

Gender Inequality and Financial Exclusion

Women, globally, are paid less than men and it is estimated that women earn about 77 percent of what men earn for the same job and effort. Such gender inequality also results in limited retrieval of social security resources such as maternity and unemployment benefit, and pensions. Moreover, 58 percent of women worldwide have leverage to financial services or possess a savings bank account than 65 percent of men.

Entrepreneurship and Leadership Positions

Less than half of the women population is likely to take up entrepreneurial roles in over 40 percent of the economies, as compared to men. Also, women are restrained and face roadblocks while making it to top leadership positions. Of Fortune 500 top bosses, only 5 percent are women.

Benefits of Women’s Economic Empowerment

The above-stated facts make a strong case for women’s economic empowerment and here are a few benefits of working towards it:

Recognise Women’s Rights and Gender Parity

Women’s economic empowerment gives women greater access to workforce markets and lends voice to their economic decisions across spaces from households to global institutions.

Path to Economic Development

When more women participate in the labour market, the economies grow too. Women’s economic empowerment reduces the gender gap, income inequality, and gives a boost to economic diversification and development with positive outcomes.

Good for Business

Companies that employ more women at senior leadership positions score high on several dimensions of organisational performance and are seen to have increased organisational effectiveness and business growth.

To conclude, women’s economic empowerment is key to ensuring an improved and stable financial security for women that shall, in turn, provide them better social security, affordable healthcare, and opportunities to play a leadership role in their communities and organisations.

ARN:  ED/05/21/23839

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