A Feminist Approach to Women’s Economic Empowerment: How Canada Can Lead on Addressing the Neglected Areas of WEE

Authored by: Kate Grantham, Dana Stefov and Rebecca Tiessen

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Country: Canada
Region: North America
Year: 2019
Citation: Grantham, Kate, et al. A Feminist Approach to Women's Economic Empowerment: How Canada Can Lead on Addressing the Neglected Areas of WEE. Oxfam Canada, 2019.

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Executive Summary

For several decades, Canada’s international assistance has promoted women’s empowerment and gender equality by integrating women into economies and markets, mainly by providing access to jobs, training, credit and financial services. However, the root causes of women’s economic inequality can be traced to economic and patriarchal structures and social norms that permeate and shape the market, drive expectations around women’s role as primary caregivers, perpetuate gender bias and discrimination in the labour force, and dictate attitudes towards women’s rights, mobility and the acceptability of violence against women.

This report makes the case for a feminist and intersectional approach to women’s economic empowerment (WEE). Drawing from the experiences of Oxfam and its partners, the Government of Canada, A Feminist Approach to Women’s Economic Empowerment 4 other countries and donor agencies, it details practical examples of feminist support for WEE that can be replicated or scaled up and makes recommendations for how Canada can adopt transformative feminist programming and policies.