Rising economic inequality across Asia is threatening poverty reduction and slowing down the fight against gender inequality.
For women across Asia, access to decent work and a living wage represents a fundamental pathway out of poverty, and one of the best ways to counter the dangerous tide of growing economic inequality. Yet in recent decades, working people, in rich and poor countries alike, have received a smaller and smaller slice of the economic pie, while those who own capital have seen their assets grow disproportionately.
On average in Asia women earn between 70 to 90 percent of what men earn and carry out around 2.5 times the amount of unpaid care work that men do.
Women’s economic empowerment is a critical factor in achieving gender equality and in supporting wider development goals.
This paper looks at two actions that can be taken which would support both gender and economic equality: achieving living wages and addressing unpaid care work