Economic Empowerment

Economic Empowerment

This toolkit contains resources to support you in promoting economic empowerment of women and vulnerable groups when:

 
  • Creating and assessing legislation and budgets
  • Representing constituents
  • Evaluating the success of programmes and policies
 

To achieve sustainable and equitable development.

Women’s economic empowerment is essential to poverty alleviation and sustainable, inclusive growth. Achieving these goals requires equal access for women to land, resources, technology and opportunities, and the ability to participate in decision making processes at all levels.

All policies and budgets should be assessed from a gender perspective to ensure they advance gender equality, and do not lead to unintended detrimental consequences for women or vulnerable groups.

Economic Empowerment

This toolkit contains resources to support you in promoting economic empowerment of women and vulnerable groups when:

 
  • Creating and assessing legislation and budgets
  • Representing constituents
  • Evaluating the success of programmes and policies
 

To achieve sustainable and equitable development.

Women’s economic empowerment is essential to poverty alleviation and sustainable, inclusive growth. Achieving these goals requires equal access for women to land, resources, technology and opportunities, and the ability to participate in decision making processes at all levels.

All policies and budgets should be assessed from a gender perspective to ensure they advance gender equality, and do not lead to unintended detrimental consequences for women or vulnerable groups.

Statistics

of the labour force in the Caribbean is composed of women
is the unemployment rate for women in the Caribbean
is the distribution of time devoted to unpaid work by women and men in the Caribbean
  1. (2014) Source
  2. (2014) Source
  3. (2016) Source

On average, women in the Caribbean have equal or higher levels of education but still tend to have unequal access to high quality employment and decision making positions. Women-headed households are generally overrepresented among those living in poverty and women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work. There is significant evidence that reducing these inequalities results in faster, more sustainable and inclusive economic development.

Policies and budgets are not gender neutral in their impacts, and even initiatives designed to improve social welfare may not effectively target those most in need. It is crucial to try to identify all likely impacts on various segments of the population to ensure that these do not exacerbate existing inequalities.

Gender responsive budgeting is an approach to budgeting and policy planning that contributes to the advancement of gender equality by distinguishing who benefits from resource allocations and related legislation. This approach is also intersectional and examines other categories of inequality in its analysis.

By adopting a gender responsive approach to budgeting, you can better understand the likely social impacts of legislative decisions, and ensure that resources are effectively allocated. This begins by ensuring that data used to assess policies are disaggregated by sex.

These tools provide further information on gender responsive budgeting and its benefits for the population and the economy:

How can we promote gender responsive budgeting in oversight functions? As a parliamentarian, gender responsive budgeting is an important approach to employ in your oversight functions. It allows for an analysis of how the budget and policy will affect existing inequalities in your country and contribute to the economic (dis)empowerment of women.

There are different ways and spaces through which you can integrate gender sensitive assessments and budgeting in your parliamentary work: from requesting sex-disaggregated data when reviewing policies in committee, to holding pre-budget consultations with women’s groups in your constituencies.

Did You Know

The World Economic Forum maintains a Global Gender Gap Index that tracks the magnitude of gender disparities and their progress over time. It includes profiles for the Caribbean that detail the relative strengths and weaknesses of each individual country’s performance based on comparative and sex-disaggregated data. This can be a useful resource for identifying and learning more about good country practices.

Good Practices

The following practices have been submitted by parliamentarians and related stakeholders, and describe techniques that can be applied to:

Promote women’s economic empowerment and the disaggregation of data by sex (m/f) for the purpose of gender responsive budgeting and policy making.

Economic Empowerment
Tonni Brodber
Barbados
Sustainable economic empowerment is in many ways the lynch pin in addressing all forms of sustainable development including ending violence against women. Tools that demonstrate why and how a gender responsive approach can make economic policy more effective serves the needs of women, men and children.
Economic Empowerment
Ayanna Webster-Roy
Trinidad and Tobago
Governments should consider placing women in high profile cabinet positions including those responsible for the labour portfolio. In Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, our Minister of Labour is a woman with a background in union activism.

Check Yourself

Flash Quiz Time! Revisit key aspects of this toolkit with a short, self-guided quiz. These multiple-choice questions are intended for personal knowledge review and responses are anonymous. Go ahead and challenge yourself.

Consult Other Toolkits

Discrimination intersects with gender in different ways.
Adaptation must be responsive to social inequalities.
Countering negative gender norms that perpetuate violence.