Discrimination, inequality and injustice are major causes of poverty worldwide, and women and girls bear the brunt of it in all aspects of their lives.
Statistically, you’re more likely to be living in poverty if you’re a woman. And if you’re a woman, you’re also likely to be doing most of the unpaid work. Compared to men, women have fewer resources, less power and less influence in decision-making.
What is Oxfam doing to help?
Right across the globe, we partner with local organisations and governments to implement programs and projects that promote women’s rights and gender equality. Here are just a few of the many ways we are making a difference:
In Fiji, our ‘Shifting Power, Shifting Voice’ project supports the economic empowerment of women and people in sexual and gender minority communities.
In Pakistan, we are empowering women to become leaders and to gain equal participation in political processes.
In Solomon Islands, we are motivating men and boys to reject family violence and adopt healthy attitudes and behaviour toward women and girls.
In Vanuatu, we are creating opportunities for women, people with disabilities, young people and sexual and gender minority communities to earn a living
The Impact of our work
When women can earn a living it not only improves gender equality, it also helps whole communities lift themselves out of poverty.
Violence against women and girls is alarmingly common in Papua New Guinea. Oxfam is working with trailblazers like Eriko to empower women and build a safer future.
Oxfam has been providing rainwater harvesting systems and tanks, and gravity-fed water supply systems to store enough rainwater for schools and whole communities.
Many 17 year olds look forward to the moment when they turn 18 and can legally vote but not many plan to stand for election the same year.
How can you help
Why is gender equality important?
We believe that achieving gender equality means more than giving women and girls the same opportunities to learn and earn as men. It means appointing women to more leadership roles. It means ending the sexual and physical violence that permeates societies, worldwide. And it means working with men and boys to debunk beliefs and systems that oppress women. We’ve made great progress on women’s rights in many parts of the world, but the quest for gender equality is unfinished.
Why does gender matters when you’re tackling poverty?
When we talk about gender, we’re not talking about a person’s sex but the social relationships between men and women. These constructed gender roles directly affect a person’s ability to access and control resources. This explains why gender and poverty are so inextricably linked.
In many parts of the world, people are also marginalised on the basis of their gender identity and expression, as well as their sexual orientation or sex characteristics. We believe that sexual and gender minority communities should have the opportunity to participate more equally in the world around them. That’s why we support projects around the world that empower women and sexual and gender minority communities
In many instances, we work in communities where harmful gender roles are deeply entrenched. Many are male-dominated communities, where women are denied their rights and disadvantaged as a result.