Women's rights

Women around the world are more likely to live in poverty - just because they are women. They have less access to land, education, income and decision-making – all of which keeps them poor.

ActionAid puts women and women’s rights at the centre of all our work because we believe this inequality is an injustice we must fight. And we believe that gender is critical to understanding the causes of poverty and injustice.

We work with women across the world to identify the changes they want to see and to empower them to claim their rights.

ActionAid also defends the rights of women and girls to live free from gender-based violence; to secure a fairer division of care work and to control their own sexuality.

We believe that women are powerful forces for change. In everything we do, ActionAid believes the best way to end poverty is to strengthen women in their own struggles, helping them to unleash their own potential to change the world.

Our women’s rights work focuses on five key areas:

Violence against women 
Women and girls around the world face widespread violence, sexual harassment and abuse in many of the spaces that they populate – their homes, workplaces, on the streets and on public transport. Women’s fear of violence is an attack on their basic rights and prevents them from living full and equal lives.

Economic rights 
ActionAid campaigns with women for decent jobs, fair taxes to reduce inequalities, and to see a fairer division of unpaid care work - including public services to reduce drudgery and ensure better quality care provision for people living in poverty.

Women’s control over their own bodies 
Throughout the world women and girls are forced to endure harmful practices that cause them great suffering . ActionAid works with women to stop female genital mutilation, early or forced marriage, sex selective abortion, dowry-related crimes, honour crimes and many other harmful practices.

Mobilising women 
Every year we work with partners and women’s rights organisations to mobilise communities, connect women, men, girls and boys to demand further change to ensure women and girls around the world can enjoy their rights.

Women farmers 
ActionAid supports women producers to start up and lead collectives so that they can enjoy their economic rights.

  • Women’s fear of violence is an attack on their basic rights and prevents them from living full and equal lives.

  • All women have the right to a reasonable standard of living, access to decent work and public services, and the right to leisure and rest. 

  • Every woman has the right to make choices regarding their own sexuality and reproduction, and the right to access information and services needed to support these choices and optimise health. 

  • Women are powerful drivers for change, and at ActionAid we work with women to help them to unleash their own potential to change the world.

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