Every day, in every country in the world, women are confronted by discrimination and inequality. They face violence, abuse and unequal treatment at home, at work and in their wider communities – and are denied opportunities to learn, to earn and to lead.
Women form the majority of those living in poverty. They have fewer resources, less power and less influence compared to men, and can experience further inequality because of their class, ethnicity and age, as well as religious and other fundamentalism.
Gender inequality is a key driver of poverty. And a fundamental denial of women's rights.
Gender inequality in numbers
Women make up less than 24% of the world’s parliamentarians and 5% of its mayors.
On average, women are paid 24% less than men for comparable work, across all regions and sectors.
Nearly two thirds of the world’s 781 million illiterate adults are women, a proportion that has remained unchanged for two decades.
153 countries have laws which discriminate against women economically, including 18 countries where husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
|1 in 3
Worldwide, 1 in 3 women and girls will experience violence or abuse in their lifetime.
44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women.
|1 in 10
Prior to the pandemic, nearly one in ten LGBTQ+ people were unemployed, approximately twice that of non-LGBTQ+ people.
Achieving gender justice to tackle poverty
Oxfam understands gender justice as the full equality and equity between women, men, LGBTQIA+, and non-binary people in all spheres of life, resulting in women jointly, and on an equal basis with men, defining and shaping the policies, structures and decisions that affect their lives and society as a whole.
Further improvements in legislation and policy are necessary but not sufficient. We believe that transforming gender and power relations, and the structures, norms and values that underpin them, is critical to ending poverty and challenging inequality.
We believe that women taking control and taking collective action are the most important drivers of sustained improvements in women's rights, and are a powerful force to end poverty not only for women and girls, but for others too.
Join the fight for gender justice
Gender inequality is when a person is discriminated against because of their sex or gender. Women, non-binary and trans people are confronted by discrimination and inequality. They face violence, abuse and unequal treatment at home, at work,in their wider communities –and are denied opportunities to learn, to earn and to lead.
Women form the majority of those living in poverty. Governments and social institutions increasingly treat women and LGBTQIA+ people unfairly and in a biased way. They have fewer resources, less power and less influence compared to men, and can experience further inequality because of their class, ethnicity and age, as well as religious and other fundamentalism.
Being treated equally and enjoying the same rights no matter your sex or gender is a fundamental human right.
Gender inequality is one of the oldest and most pervasive forms of inequality. For centuries it has caused discrimination and exclusion of women, non-binary and trans people from social, political,and economic life. It has also blocked women from leadership roles and has led to increasing gender-based violence.The Covid-19 pandemic has made this situation worse. Structural inequality has increased as well. Specifically, governments and social institutions increasingly treat women and LGBTQIA+ people unfairly and in a biased way. Intersecting inequality has worsened too. This means, on top of being mistreated because of your gender, you are also discriminated against because of your ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, disability, income, and occupation, etc. As a result, we now have even wider gender and racial gaps.
This is unacceptable and is putting a lot of people at serious risk every day.
Fighting for a feminist and gender-just world.
Oxfam recognizes that there is no economic, social, and environmental justice without gender justice. We work to make sure that women and girls, LGBTQIA+ and non-binary people live free from gender-based discrimination and violence. We campaign against deep rooted male privilege and dominance that prevent women from realizing their rights and work with communities to challenge harmful norms and beliefs that drive abuse and keep women poor.
1. Women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ people can realize their full rights, including rights that impact their sexual and reproductive health.
2. Violence against women, girls, and non-binary people is eliminated and protection offered during and after shocks and crises when the risk of discrimination, exploitation and abuse is heightened.
3. Policies and practices protect the equal rights of women, girls, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community and all those who suffer discrimination based on gender or sex.
4. Women and members of the queer community are in leadership positions across different sectors with equal recognition to men and in equal numbers. They are shaping public policy, including decision making on peace and security.
5. Feminist activists, organizations, and movements grow in strength. They lead equally, safely and freely in both online and offline spaces, exposing how patriarchal practices interact with other forms of inequality, and protected from violent anti-rights backlash.
Together we can change this and achieve gender justice!
If we stand together, wecan demand that women, non-binary, LGBTQIA+ people enjoy their full rights and live a life with dignity, free from discrimination, violence and oppression.