Women's economic empowerment

Women's economic empowerment
Photo: Peter Bruyneel/UNDP

Women’s economic empowerment requires bold and sustained action to advance women’s opportunities and rights and to ensure that women can participate and be heard.

To increase their economic opportunities, women need access to more and better jobs, a business climate that supports them in starting and doing business, a financial sector that gives them access to financial services tailored to their needs, and greater livelihood security in times of food and fuel crises. This is especially true for women living in rural areas and vulnerable environments.

Securing women’s legal rights, especially to land and other property, and ensuring that women’s voices and priorities are heard and acted on are vital components of empowerment - securing women’s land rights has a direct impact on their ability to access finance, for example. Empowering women – the third of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - also helps to speed progress toward other MDGs.

UNDP advances women’s economic empowerment by:

  • Advocating for increased recognition, reduction and redistribution of women’s unpaid care work;
  • Supporting research of customary law to help women gain access to land and participate in decision-making form;
  • Supporting women’s entrepreneurship through training in production skills and techniques, business management and functional literacy;
  • Helping to certify businesses that adhere to equality standards in the workplace;
  • Supporting efforts to strengthen women’s legal rights to property.