UNDP Around the world

International Women's Day

Mar 8, 2017

In Kenya and around the world, women farmers often lead the way in adopting sustainable agricultural practices. Photo: Leonard Odini/UNDP Kenya

This year, International Women's Day focuses on women in the labour force and calls for a move towards gender equality and "Planet 50-50 by 2030".

The new world of work offers many opportunities, but is also marked by persistent gender inequalities.

Empowering women economically requires removing structural barriers holding them back. These include the gender wage gap and other discriminatory employment regulations as well as women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid work. Ensuring women’s access and rights to property, land, finance, formal employment and agricultural resources are also key to empowering women economically.

Women’s economic empowerment is essential to sustainable development.

Not only does it improve the lives of individual women, but it also accelerates development progress for society as a whole. Evidence shows that women tend to invest a higher share of their income on their families and communities. Empowering women economically helps to reduce poverty and hunger, improve child health and education, and build resilience to disaster and climate change.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, calls for us to "leave no one behind". This vision cannot be realized without the full participation and empowerment of half the world's population.

Our stories

  • United for a clean city
    Aug 14, 2017

    Gregoria Cruz does not pick up waste, she recycles it. Today, many women like Gregoria have abandoned the landfills in Arequipa - Peru's second largest city - to demonstrate that recycling and waste disposal also offer opportunities for sustainable development.

  • 10 things we should all know about indigenous people
    Aug 9, 2017

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a good time for all of us to consider why it’s important to protect indigenous peoples’ rights.

  • Women gear up for elections in Kenya
    Aug 4, 2017

    Ahead of general elections in Kenya, UNDP is working with UN Women and OHCHR to strengthen electoral processes and empower women as candidates and voters.

More stories

Photo essay: 50 voices of women

Voices of women

Creating opportunities for women is key to reducing poverty and improving families’ lives. Around the world, UNDP works to empower women with job skills, training and support that expand the options available to women. On the occasion of International Women's Day, we profile 50 of these trailblazers.