For those of you out there who might think that the the gender gap is a myth, here are some statistics from Oxfam’s websites to make you think again…
Oxfam’s latest infographics also highlight the division of labour in households in 6 countries when you factorunpaid care work into the equation.
The fact is, women work longer hours than men, and get paid less, and that needs to stop.
NGOs often try to engage more women in their programming, to give them more opportunities and help lift them out of poverty. However in reality women often aren’t able to participate in NGO programmes due to the level of care work they need to do at home in addition to normal farm labour or other paid work (such as childcare, caring for the elderly, sick, disabled, as well as laundry, cooking, cleaning, collecting water, feeding animals etc).
And in the Ebola crisis raging through West Africa right now, women’s role in the household as the caregiver puts them at much higher risk of catching the disease, making them even more vulnerable.
So while women in Europe are still fighting for equality and attempting to close the pay gap, women across the rest of the world are trapped in poverty because they are not recognised as equals. And that needs to stop.
In fact, in a recent report (Time to Listen) involving over 6,000 beneficiaries, most men agreed that they had benefitted more from those programmes where the women were targeted rather than themselves.
“People in some locations illustrate how international assistance can get it “right” by
citing examples of processes and programming to improve the status of women.
Women—and some men—told of experiences where an international program
focusing on women led to economic benefits for both men and women. Some
told how changed perceptions of women’s roles and capacities also changed
broader attitudes and social interactions. Although some people felt that it is
inappropriate for external actors to interfere with local male/female relations, it
was interesting how many people described positive benefits from programming
aimed at women.
One possible interpretation of this appreciation is that in this area, international
assistance agencies did recognize and focus on an existing, but internally undervalued,
resource (women’s abilities) and, through approaches and programming to encourage
and enlarge its expression, not only built on women’s capacities, but also helped
men recognize and appreciate them. We return to this in a later chapter exploring
the impacts of internationally driven policies and agendas on receiving societies.”
“For example, in the 1960s and 1970s, international aid
workers began to see that their efforts to help broad groups in recipient societies
often inadvertently disadvantaged women relative to men. Simultaneously, the
women’s movement was spreading across all continents and countries as women,
and men, recognized how societal patterns often perpetuate gender inequality.
International assistance became one arena in which activists from both donor
and recipient countries urged the formulation of aid policies to address women’s
equality as a value to be pursued through aid. Similar stories could be told of aid’s
growing policy emphasis on conflict sensitivity, human rights, good governance, etc”
N.B. Both quotes taken directly from the Time to Listen report
So, some food for thought there, and lastly, here’s some more stats from Oxfam on women in Asia…