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

  • Healing the physical and emotional wounds of sexual violence
    Apr 21, 2017

    After more than a decade of conflict in which rape has been used as a weapon, sexual violence is sadly a fact of life for both women and men in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congolese men and women are working courageously to eradicate this scourge. Here are some of their stories.

  • Armenian women take the political stage
    Mar 6, 2017

    In the small village of Getik, Arpine Gyulumyan runs a bed and breakfast with her family. But she is also an engineer, a social worker, and a community council member.

  • Bringing the land to life
    Mar 3, 2017

    For transhumant pastoralists in Kenya, sustainable land management is a comprehensive approach to address land degradation, with benefits for both the environment and the people who depend on it.

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.