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International Women’s Day

Oxfam is working to improve equality between women and men because if you're a woman, you're more likely to live in poverty. Tackling inequality will help end poverty for everyone.

Despite major progress, every day, in every country in the world, women's efforts to escape poverty are blocked by discrimination. Routinely facing violence, abuse and unequal treatment at home, at work and in their communities, the basic human rights of millions of women are under threat - denying them the opportunities most men can take for granted.

Time and again, Oxfam has seen how women can leave poverty behind - and bring others with them.Take Theresie and Valerie in Rwanda, for example, who have been able to work together to support each other, grow their income and have a say in life at home and work. In fact, fighting for women's equal job opportunities, health care, education and freedom from violence isn't just the right thing to do; it's vital if we are to achieve a world without poverty. And we all have a part to play, no matter what our gender.

Bringing equality for women is not only beneficial to women, but to their families and wider community. Everyone stands to benefit. Studies show that inequality in economic terms costs women in developing countries $9 trillion a year; a sum which would not only benefit women but would unlock new spending power for their families and boosting the economy as a whole. 

We will not succeed in ending global poverty unless women are equal to men. We all have a part to play in achieving this, no matter what our gender.


Women are worst affected by poverty

Despite the progress in advancing women's rights over the last few decades, globally, women earn 23% less than men and do at least double the amount of unpaid care - sometimes 10 times as much. In Africa alone, women and girls spend 16 million hours a day just fetching and carrying water, squeezing the time available to go to school or earn a living. For those who do work, around 600 million women are in the most insecure jobs, and many are likely to still be in poverty despite working very long hours. Work should be a route out of poverty for everyone, but discrimination and abuse are preventing millions of the world's poorest women from earning a fair, decent, secure living

What is Oxfam doing to help women?

Oxfam is supporting more than a million women and girls around the world, challenging attitudes and behaviour, working to end violence against women, improving livelihoods and increasing women's participation in decision-making - whether in community groups or at a  national level .

From our work, we have seen how greater opportunity not only benefits the lives of women, but ends up benefiting their families and their communities, whether through bringing in more income, contributing to better decision-making, freeing people from restrictive traditional roles and living without fear of experiencing violence.

This International Women's Day, Oxfam is calling for people around the world to stand up for women's equal right to safe, decent, fairly paid work and a world free from the injustice of poverty.

Oxfam's Online Shop gender pay gap sale

The sale is about raising awareness and money.The six-day sale exclusively on Oxfam's Online Shop will offer selected items at 23% off - the same as the average global gender pay gap. It is a way to raise awareness that women around the world still earn less than men and highlight the discrimination that women face as well as appealing to new customers in order to raise vital funds for Oxfam's work fighting poverty around the world.


Last year Oxfam's Online Shop ran its first Gender Pay Gap Sale with 13.9% off selected items (as that was the gap between men and women for full time workers (mean figure) in Britain in 2016 according to the Fawcett Society) which resulted in a 46% increase in clothing sales that week and raised enough extra funds to:
  • train 118 people in Nepal on key issues of gender equality, such as violence against women. They will each then go onto train at least 30 others in turn.
  • or to train 62 politicians in Uganda on women's rights
  • or to provide over 300 budding businesswomen with the support they need to kick start their business, such as literacy and numeracy skills, or mentoring and advice.

23% is the estimated global gender pay gap according to the ILO's report Women at Work Trends 2016.

The six-day sale is exclusively on Oxfam's Online Shop only.