Tackling adverse norms and promoting positive role models
Challenging and transforming the negative and harmful norms that limit women's access to work and that often devalue their work are core to achieving women’s economic empowerment.
Globally, nearly two in five people agree that men should have stronger rights than women to jobs when they are scarce.
Ensuring legal protection and reforming discriminatory laws and regulations
Laws reflect society’s expectations for gender roles. By guaranteeing equal opportunities and protections, and by removing legal barriers, governments signal their commitment to achieve and enforce gender equality.
Ninety percent of economies have at least one gender-differentiated law, and there are 943 gender-differentiated laws among 170 economies.
Recognizing, reducing and redistributing unpaid work and care
Progress on the agenda to expand women’s economic empowerment depends, to a significant extent, on closing the gender gap in unpaid work and investing in quality care services and decent care jobs.
Women undertake three times more unpaid work than men and spend about half as much time in paid work.
Building assets - Digital, financial and property
Eliminating gender disparities in work and in society depends on eliminating disparities in access to key assets. Digital, financial and property assets matter for economic opportunities.
Worldwide, some 2.3 billion women do not have any Internet access, and more than 1.7 billion do not own a mobile phone—some 200 million fewer women than men have online access or mobile phones.
57 percent of women globally have a financial account, against 64 percent of men.
Gender differences in the ownership and control of property are major determinants of gender inequality.
Changing business culture and practice
Business culture, practice and policies are major drivers of women’s economic opportunities. Beyond basic protections and standards that are the “right thing to do,” companies are realizing the business value of women’s economic empowerment.
According to Credit Suisse calculations based on 3,000 companies across 40 countries and all major sectors, women accounted for only 4 percent of chief executive officers in 2013.
Improving public sector practices in employment and procurement
Beyond their key roles in determining the legal, institutional and policy environments that affect women’s economic opportunities, governments are major employers and procurers of goods and services. The power of governments in setting high standards for and exemplifying gender equality at work cannot be underestimated.
Globally, only an estimated 1 percent of public procurement contracts go to women-owned enterprises.
Strengthening visibility, collective voice and representation
The rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental labour and human rights, enshrined in international ILO conventions going back to the 1940s. These rights apply to all workers, including workers in the informal economy. Women’s organizing allows working women to voice their needs and demands more effectively, enhance their bargaining power, advocate for legal and policy reforms and increase access to markets on fair and efficient terms.
Trade union membership has been on the decline globally, but women’s share of membership is rising. Women are the majority of trade union members in 33% of the 39 developing and developed countries with data.