Women are the powerhouses of developing countries: they produce most of the food, make up a third of the official labour force and care for families and homes. Through decades of development work, Oxfam recognizes that investing in women and women’s rights means investing in men and children as well.
Why it Matters
The research is clear: when women exercise their rights there is a positive impact on everything from food security and the environment to peace-building and good governance. Because women and men experience poverty in different ways, successful strategies to end poverty must reflect and respond to these differences.
The majority of people living in extreme poverty are women and girls. Discrimination against women and girls, from heinous forms of violence to unequal access to land or public services, constitute the most widespread and systemic forms of human rights violations around the world. All of us, women and girls, men and boys, have a stake in promoting women’s rights and gender justice. Changing women's position in the world means changing the world for the better, a goal we all share.
There is growing evidence that women taking control and taking collective action are themselves the most important drivers of sustained improvement in women’s rights. Therefore, our goal is to support women in developing their own visions and strategies for change, and support the organizations and movements needed to affirm that achieving women’s rights is a foundation for all development goals. Ensuring women’s rights is the most essential and effective work we support internationally. By giving women the tools to take an active and equitable role in their society, it becomes possible to effect change across families, communities and entire cultures.
What is Oxfam doing?
Oxfam Canada works with a range of organizations internationally, in Canada and at the global level that have strong credentials in promoting women's rights. Our work focuses on: women's rights and gender-based violence; women's rights and livelihoods; women's rights and health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights; women's rights and humanitarian crises; women's rights and participation.
Ensuring women benefit from our work is a vital part of what we do. All our programs - from violence against women prevention in South and Southeast Asia, to earthquake recovery in Nepal – are designed to ensure both women and men enjoy equal rights, opportunities and outcomes.
Related oxfam.ca links:
- Gender Justice: This is what Oxfam Canada is doing
- Women's Rights
- Transformative Leadership for Women's Rights
In this video, Aymara Pineda describes the work of Puntos de Encuentro, an Oxfam partner organization which uses media to support the Nicaraguan women's movement. The Puntos agency is provides information and organization support to approximately a thousand feminist organizations in the country. With their help, the women’s movement is able to more effectively campaign for women’s rights in Nicaragua.