“Gender inequality undermines economic growth, human development and poverty reduction. The evidence is clear—investing in women is not just the right thing to do— it is the smart thing to do.” – Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP

Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.

But they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation because of barriers to education and employment. Gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions.

Guaranteeing equal opportunities for women and men is not just the right thing to do. The empowerment of women and girls is one of the most effective ways to achieve higher economic growth and better living standards for millions of people in developing countries.

The economic empowerment of women is crucial in developing strong societies and strong economies.

UN Women’s Approach

UN Women recognises that the economic empowerment of women is crucial to achieving true gender equality. The budgeting and earmarking of aid funding specifically for programs that will benefit women is a proven strategy, and one which UN Women campaigns for in countries around the world.

UN Women supports women in reshaping conditions at both ends of the economic spectrum — from boosting women’s participation in economic policy-making to supporting efforts to provide women with practical skills needed for securing sustainable livelihoods.

Find out more about UN Women’s work to enhance women’s economic empowerment in the Pacific.