Investing in women’s economic empowerment leads to greater equality, poverty reduction and economic growth. Women make enormous economic contributions to businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid work at home.
Throughout Europe and Central Asia, women are disproportionately affected by poverty, gender discrimination, persistent wage gaps between women and men, exploitation and limited opportunities for career advancement. Women struggle in insecure, low-wage jobs that make it difficult to sustain themselves and their families. Limited economic opportunities for women affect all of society, and limit economic potential for all, but women from minority groups and those with vulnerable social status often face particularly daunting economic challenges.
In Europe and Central Asia, UN Women roots its interventions for women’s economic empowerment in relevant normative frameworks. We work to increase women’s incomes, as well as to secure their rights and access to decent employment, particularly women who are most excluded and discriminated against, such as rural women, Roma women, domestic workers, as well as migrant and low-skilled women. To increase women’s economic empowerment, UN Women supports initiatives that:
- Promote women’s entrepreneurship and business ownership, with access to loans, capital and financial markets;
- Build women’s assets, by providing women’s access to land rights and property ownership;
- Improve women’s financial literacy;
- Provide better jobs for women, and improve their wages, working conditions and benefits.