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Women's economic empowerment

Women’s economic empowerment is critical to achieving gender equality and sustainable development. Women are key contributors to economies as producers of food, managers of natural resources and as entrepreneurs and employees. Additionally, women are the main providers of unpaid care and domestic work - globally, women do 2.6 times the unpaid care and domestic work that men do.

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United Nations member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals which call for recognizing, reducing, and redistributing unpaid care and domestic work.
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With the support of UNDP programmes, advocacy and training, women are shifting the borders of their traditional roles and challenging gender stereotypes.
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To help combat gender discrimination in the technology sector and open new economic opportunities for women, UNDP and partners launched a Technovation Challenge for young women in Uzbekistan where 100 young programmers got support in mentoring, networking and creating mobile applications.

Active measures are needed to comprehensively address the structural barriers and gender-discriminatory practices that deny women their socioeconomic rights, restrict their economic, social and political opportunities and undermine their resilience to all forms of shock. This requires addressing women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid care work, including by engaging men in care work, ensuring women’s equal rights to property, credit, land and natural resources, decent work and equal access to basic services, including health services.

To respond to these deep-rooted problems, UNDP’s work focuses on approaches that transform legal, policy and social norms to create a sustainable impact on women’s economic empowerment. UNDP works with partners to support greater investment in gender-responsive infrastructure, the implementation of policies that support equal redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work and equal access to assets and land and work with national governments to develop gender-responsive economic plans, strategies, policies and social protection programmes. UNDP also supports partners to develop jobs and livelihoods opportunities for women, reform discriminatory labour policies and attitudes and establish gender-inclusive workplaces where women and men have equal opportunities to contribute, benefit and advance their careers.

For example, the Inclusive and Equitable Local Development Programme (IELD), a joint UNDP, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UN Women programme, is working with local development programmes to unlock private finance for infrastructure projects that would benefit women and lift their disproportionate burden of unpaid work.

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