Effective economic empowerment for women occurs when women enjoy their rights to control and benefit from resources, assets, income and their own time, and when they have the ability to manage risk and improve their economic status and wellbeing. However, for this to become real, women must also have the autonomy and self-belief to make changes in their own lives, including to have the power to organize and influence decision making while enjoying equal rights to men and freedom from violence. Women’s economic empowerment (WEE) programmes focus on women’s ability to gain access and control over productive resources and to be recognized as fully participating economic actors.
This framework is intended to assist the development of more consistent, effective and integrated programming on WEE through humanitarian response, long-term development, influencing or campaign approaches. Promoting WEE in agriculture is critical, as women comprise on average 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. At the same time, urban development is becoming a growing area of work due to key global trends, and Oxfam recognizes the need to support the voice, identity and welfare of urban women and youth in transition from informal/precarious to decent work.