The report provides an overview of WEJ’s accomplishments in advancing economic justice for women worldwide, including the success of its savings groups, which have improved the lives of 17.7 million people around the world.
The importance of women’s economic justice
CARE International defines women’s economic justice as the fulfillment of women’s fundamental human right to economic resources and the power to make decisions that affect their lives. This requires women to have equitable access to, and control over, economic resources, including by having the time and opportunity to engage in economic activities.
It also requires changes to discriminatory social norms and economic structures, laws, policies and practices that marginalize women.
Our goal is that by 2030, 50 million will have more equitable access to, and control over, economic resources and opportunities.
The disadvantages and discrimination faced by women and girls severely limits their ability to lift themselves out of poverty. As a result, women are more likely to work in informal, low-wage jobs with exploitative and unequal working conditions, and have restricted access to affordable, quality financial products and services, like a savings account or small loan.
Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a path for poverty reduction and for advanced gender equality. We empower women to build better livelihoods, earn more income, and create businesses that provide jobs and boost local economies.
Women, in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, have made significant progress towards women’s economic justice:
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the deep inequalities in our societies and economic systems. The next ten years will see the world deal with the fallout of the pandemic, including an anticipated increase in multiple forms of inequality. This trend will be exacerbated by increasing risks from climate change and other protracted crises.
Globally, patterns of increased political polarization, shrinking civic space, concentrated private sector power, and a growing dependence on digital technology threaten to compound barriers to women’s economic justice even further.