Women’s economic empowerment in the Indian Ocean Rim: Progress and challenges

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) recognizes that women’s economic empowerment is a prerequisite for sustainable development and is committed to achieving gender equality. However, despite demonstrable advances, the full potential of women’s contributions to the Indian Ocean Rim region remains untapped. While the IORA region is diverse, gender inequalities persist in all IORA countries, as women continue to face structural and institutional barriers to their economic empowerment and the enjoyment of their rights to and at work.

To support the commitments made by Member States, this report provides an update to the 2015 UN Women baseline report, “Enabling women’s contributions to the Indian Ocean Rim economies”. The report explores key gender issues and gaps in the region, in areas such as women’s labour force participation; informal work; occupational segregation; entrepreneurship; unpaid care work; migration; equality under the law; and access to education, finance, skills development, land and productive resources, among other influential resources.

This updated report analyses some key indicators of women’s economic empowerment in labour markets and in women’s political participation and economic leadership through three dimensions: resources, agency, and achievements. The report examines publicly available data and is supplemented with contributions from Member States. It highlights good practices, case studies, and further challenges and opportunities for investments and initiatives to address prominent gender gaps.

The report provides key recommendations for IORA Member States and other stakeholders to translate women’s economic empowerment commitments in the region to reality.

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Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Africa; Arab States/North Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Australia; Bangladesh; Comoros; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kenya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritius; Mozambique; Oman; Seychelles; Singapore; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Yemen

Subject area(s): Economic empowerment; Employment; Entrepreneurship; Gender statistics; Gender wage gap; Productive resources; Unpaid work

Resource type: Assessments; Best practices; Research papers

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2020

Number of pages: xiii + 75

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)