Women's economic security and citizenship

Women in the region continue to face limitations and conditions in exercising their economic citizenship, particularly in the context of the effects of the economic, financial and food crises.

Though the condition of poverty among the women of the Americas continues to be one of the obstacles that limits the exercise of their economic rights, a recently-published World Bank report states that, had it not been for the 35% increase in women's labour force participation since 1990, levels of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean would be 30% higher.

Despite this growing participation of women in the economies of the region, they continue to face a number of barriers, including:

  • The wage gap - women's work still generates less income, less job security, less benefits, and less opportunities for advancement than men's
  • Lack of access to financial services, credit and other tools to help women entrepreneurs in the region sustainably grow their businesses
  • The lack of recognition by most States of the work of social reproduction as a shared responsibility and not just "women's work" – in fact, the same World Bank report affirms that women most often cite their burden of domestic and care work as the main obstacle to their participation in the labour force.