Position Papers

Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (February 2008)

Access to resources, rights and power are still unequally distributed between women and men in all societies. This unequal distribution of wealth, power and quality of life is more favourable to men than to women in nearly all areas of life. Less than 2 percent of all land worldwide is owned by women, the average percentage of women in parliaments across the world is 14.5% (23% within the EU), and women on average earn 85% of men’s hourly earnings for the same job with the same qualification in the EU.

All public policies play a role in contributing to the important political, economic and social goal of achieving equality between women and men. In particular a government’s decision about how money is raised, through a range of different taxation measures, and how money is spent, for example on public services like health and housing or investment in road building, can either widen or diminish the gap between the situation of women and men in society. Likewise, funders’ decisions about which programmes and projects they are willing to finance, or about what percentage of funding they dedicate to gender issues and to women’s organisations may determine whether women have the chance to put gender on the agenda.

Financial decisions are not only about figures, they transform political priorities and commitments into practical measures and represent the vision, aim and principles of a state or institution. In working to achieve a more equal society it is therefore important to question if a commitment to gender equality is taken into account when decisions are made by governments, by intergovernmental institutions and by funders about how money is raised and spent. The commitments made to equality between women and men must be visible in the way resources are collected and spent.

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Final EWL position paper Financing for GenderEquality EN

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