Introducing Women’s Economic Empowerment

Part of the WEE Gateway

Defining Women's Economic Empowerment


Women are economically empowered when they have access to resources and have the power and agency to make economic decisions about their resources. Access to resources includes: access to employment and decent work, access to land, housing and other productive resources such as water and energy, access to financial resources such as banking institutions, (microfinance) loans, and savings accounts, access to social protection services, access to digital spaces and technology.

Obtaining access to the above resources furthers the economic empowerment of women. However, if women do not have the power and agency to make economic decisions using these resources, they are not economically empowered. For example, if a woman is employed but is not financially literate or is not able to make decisions with the money she earns, she cannot make her own economic decisions. In a similar way, if a woman depends on a plot of land for income and sustenance, but she does not own that plot of land, it means that she does not have full authority of what to do with the land, and the owner of the land can decide to sell the land or take back the land at any point, meaning that she is not secured of access to that land in the long-term.

What is the difference between gender equality and equity?

From gender sensitive to gender transformative programming

Gender equality in employment versus entrepreneurship, what are the key challenges?