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Activities and instruments

Women and poverty alleviation

A young girl looks at her reflection inside her slum home, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Over the past 30 years the opportunities for women to lift themselves out of poverty by their own efforts have increased considerably. There are, however, many obstacles still to overcome. Women continue to have fewer opportunities for economic success: across the world women do 66 per cent of the work and produce 50 per cent of all food, but only earn 10 per cent of global income and own only 1 per cent of property.

Women spend substantially more time than men in undertaking unpaid work – in the family or the informal sector, for instance. Women farmers have less farmland than men. And in other economic fields, too, businesses run by women are on average smaller and less productive than companies which are run by men.

These problems are exacerbated when girls and women suffer multiple discrimination, for example because they are members of an ethnic minority or live with a disability or in especially remote regions.

For this reason, the structural relationship between poverty and gender inequality is taken into account in many German development cooperation programmes.

Detailed information about German activities in regard to reducing global poverty can be found here.

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