Women in the Shadow
Clearly there is still too much gender inequality in women's access to economic opportunities and to real economic empowerment.
In most parts of today’s world, women do not control nor participate in making decisions concerning employment, capital, credit, property, technology, education or information. Yet they are going to work in growing numbers, and the feminization of labour is a recognized phenomenon.
Statistics confirm women bear the brunt of the burden of poverty. In rural areas, where most of the world's poor live, women are responsible for most of farm labour, up to 70-80% in some countries.
Women all over the world are working long and hard for survival wages, some even for unpaid jobs. The challenge is how to help them find remuneration for these extraordinary efforts. This means providing women with productive work in which their rights are protected.
Gender equality is not only a goal in its own right, but is important for reducing poverty and hunger, ensuring education for all, reducing child mortality, promoting maternal health, combating diseases, and ensuring environmental sustainability.
This photographic series is part of a work-in-progress, a testimony to precarious work conditions and gender-based discrimination.
Both create these situations:
• Limited employment opportunities–gender-based segregation
• Lower pay for work of equal value
• Poorly paid jobs—endemic poverty
• Insecurity—temporary work or piecework
• Non-existant or poor access to health care, maternity care, and social welfare
• Long working day, extra hours
• High illiteracy rates
For millions of working women, labour rights are not respected or even non-existant.