Promoting women's economic self-reliance

Improving women's economic control
Promoting access of women to economic resources
Increasing female productivity

Action by governments to address this objective might include revising legislation as well as administrative rules and procedures to ensure equal opportunities for working women and men, to promote safer working conditions, to guarantee availability of child-care centres and creches for mothers and fathers in the formal and informal sectors, to guarantee equal pay for work of equal value, to avoid the bias towards the feminization of part-time work, and to promote self-employment as well as technical training in new fields and guidance among unemployed young women. It could include development of government programmes to provide accessible credit to women as well as facilitation of marketing of products.

Action by non-governmental organizations, including the private sector and trade unions, might include supporting women in choosing non-traditional professions, encouraging women towards leadership positions, monitoring recruitment, training and promotion bodies and procedures, and promoting rules to prevent sexual harassment at work. It could include organizing entrepreneurial training and self-help financial institutions, such as cooperatives.

Action by organizations of the United Nations system might include promoting the exchange of information on successful policies and programmes and producing technical material on how to change discriminatory practices. It might also include further efforts to build gender factors into development assistance, including lending, technology transfer and technical cooperation.

This strategic objective formed part of the Platform for Action of the United Nations Fourth World Conference for Women (Beijing, 1995).

This strategy also features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends protecting, recognizing and formalizing women's access to tenure and use of land, as well as right to land, access to credit, technology, input and training.


States party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women should review and suggest amendments to it by the year 2000, with a view to strengthening those elements of the Convention related to environment and development, giving special attention to the issue of access and entitlements to natural resources, technology, creative banking facilities and low-cost housing.

Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 5: Gender Equality