The extent to which women’s increased entry into the labour force may be empowering depends on the context, the reasons for women’s economic participation, the existence of regulatory frameworks to support women’s economic participation, and the type and conditions of the work.
True economic empowerment and stability comes from ensuring that programming on women’s economic empowerment and regulatory frameworks across both the formal and informal economies include consideration of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Gender inequality around the world > Economic > Economic empowerment
The face of poverty is female
What is SRHR?
Equal opportunities for all
Gender inequality around the world
Early and forced marriage
Discrimination against girls
Comprehensive sexuality education
3. Sexual and Gender Based Violence
1. Unpaid care burdens
2. Formal and informal markets
2. Changing social norms
3. Peace building
IPPF’s recommendations: 6 steps for moving towards equality and sustainable development
1. Laws that support sexual and reproductive health and rights
2. Funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights
3. Measure the outcomes that really matter
4. Engage men and boys as partners in gender transformative change
5. Laws to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence
6. Strengthening political capacity of women at the grassroots level
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Economic empowerment living with HIV
Grace lives on the outskirts of Eldoret with her three grandchildren, two of which are also living with HIV. To make ends meet, Grace used to do laundry for a few families living in the area. At 50 shillings per wash (about 57 US cents), there was never enough money to provide for all the mouths she had to feed, leaving them dependent on begging for food. Her only asset was an acre of land that Grace did not have the time or means to cultivate.
Today Grace is optimistic. “Sleeping on an empty stomach and washing clothes are all in the past for me. I now concentrate on cultivating my acre of land.” Grace and her grandchildren attended IPPF's Member Association, Family Health Options Kenya, to access treatment. She enrolled in a project support group and also received training in business management skills. To help her establish herself she received a loan of 6,000 shillings (US$68) and this gave her the means to do more with the plot of land that she owned. She now successfully plants maize.
Applying her newly acquired finance skills and business acumen, Grace sold the produce and was able to repay her initial loan on time. "This is a new life. I have been able to open a microcredit account and have undergone savings and business training. I thank the project team, for I can now afford to provide for my children. Living positively with HIV has been made possible for me and I am increasingly self-reliant."