Most of the people living in poverty in the world are women – more than 70 per cent, according to UN estimates.1 Why is it that more than two thirds of the world’s poor are women, although women are only half of the world’s population?
Discrimination is a key driver of poverty. In some countries discrimination against women is built into the law, in others it persists despite equality laws. Women do not have equal access to resources and productive means such as land, credit and inheritance rights. Women are not paid the same wages as men and most of their labour is unpaid. Women often work in informal employment with no job security or social protection. At the same time, they are still held responsible for providing care for their families and homes.