Economic justice

Women’s Economic Justice | CARE International

The Importance of Women’s Economic Justice

CARE International defines women’s economic justice as the realization of women’s basic human right to economic resources and the power to make decisions that affect their lives. This requires that women have equitable access to and control over economic resources, including having the time and opportunity to engage in economic activities.

It also requires changes to discriminatory social norms and economic structures, laws, policies and practices that marginalize women.

Our goal is that by 2030, 50 million people will have more equitable access and more equitable control over economic resources and opportunities.

The disadvantages and discrimination faced by women and girls severely limit their ability to move out of poverty. As a result, women are more likely to work in low-wage informal jobs with abusive and unequal working conditions, and have limited access to affordable and quality financial products and services, such as a savings account or small loan.

Investing in women’s economic empowerment paves the way for poverty reduction and gender equality. We empower women to build better livelihoods, earn more income and start businesses that create jobs and boost local economies.

Women, working with a range of stakeholders, have made significant progress towards economic justice for women:

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated deep inequalities in our societies and economic systems. The next ten years will see the world grapple with the fallout of the pandemic, including an anticipated rise in multiple forms of inequality. This trend will be exacerbated by the growing risks of climate change and other protracted crises.

Globally, patterns of increased political polarization, shrinking civic space, concentration of private sector power, and a growing reliance on digital technology threaten to further aggravate barriers to women’s economic justice.

What is CARE International doing to advance women’s economic justice?

We focus on supporting women to access financial services, participate in dignified work, and thrive as entrepreneurs and small-scale producers. With a focus on economic justice, we commit to changing discriminatory social norms and economic structures, laws, policies and practices that marginalize women.

CARE International works with economically marginalized women who have little or no access to and control over economic rights, resources and opportunities. We work with workers, entrepreneurs and small producers, as well as members of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). This includes women living in fragile or conflict-affected contexts, and those who have been displaced.

We will build on our past successes, including in dignified work, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. We also look forward to building on our advocacy successes related to the ratification of ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and our engagement with the Action Coalition for economic justice and rights from the Generation Equality Forum.

Read our Women’s Economic Justice 2030 Vision Impact Area Strategy here.