UN Women in Action: Economic Empowerment

UN Women partners with governments and civil society to empower women in businesses, the workforce and other economic activities. Recent achievements include:

  • UN Women partnered with Serbia’s Ministry of Economy to analyse barriers to women’s entrepreneurship, which led to the first government credit line specifically to support women’s businesses. Introduction of the first tool to assess corporate performance on equal opportunities and non-discrimination led 77 firms to begin implementing the global Women’s Empowerment Principles.
  • In Montenegro, UN Women helped the Department for Gender Equality successfully advocate for an amended labour law, with provisions on equal pay for equal work.
  • With women’s economic empowerment a priority in Albania’s National Development Plan, UN Women has assisted with implementation measures that include the first National Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs, two new funds dedicated to women’s businesses, and specific subsidies and resources to train women farmers.
  • Since 2014, UN Women in Tajikistan has supported 8,500 rural women affected by a mass outflow of male labour migrants to form self-help groups. By providing a platform to cooperate on economic, social and legal matters, the groups have helped women to gain knowledge and skills, including on financial management, entrepreneurship, leadership and the prevention of violence against women. Among participants, 80 per cent have seen an increase in income, and nearly 60 per cent have started small businesses, up from just under 6 per cent when the groups began. In one village, members of a self-help group came together to develop a system of pipes to deliver drinking water, benefitting 3,500 people in their community.
  • In Kyrgyzstan, one-stop service delivery centres in 30 municipalities have allowed more than 36,000 women to gain improved access to local administrative services, such as to register land and property, obtain identification documents, and secure pensions and social benefits. A comprehensive programme on rural women’s economic empowerment has helped 1,500 rural women improve financial literacy skills, with over 300 starting their own businesses.