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

  • Opening the tap
    Jan 9, 2018

    Binisera Lamichhane Mangar cradles her 2-year-old granddaughter and, with her free hand, turns on a gleaming faucet as the entire village of Gadhi looks on. The pipe gurgles as the crowd hold their breath.

  • Orange the World
    Nov 25, 2017

    UNDP joins with other UN agencies in the #OrangeTheWorld campaign to end violence against women and girls. Together with activists around the world, we’re using the colour orange to call attention to the various forms of violence that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential.

  • Breaking the silence
    Oct 10, 2017

    UNDP supports and empowers victims of sexual violence in the context of the armed conflict in Colombia.

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.

UNDP Around the world