Economic empowerment and skills development for young women

The Issue

Investing in young women’s economic empowerment and skills development is one of the most urgent and effective means to drive progress on gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth.

Despite growing evidence of the positive outcomes of young women’s economic empowerment, young women continue to experience unequal access to education and skills development and face barriers to securing decent employment and opportunities to thrive as entrepreneurs. Young women’s access to resources, including land and loans, may be restricted by discriminatory laws, and young women continue to shoulder an unequal share of unpaid care work, due to the persistence of traditional gender roles.

Our Solutions

To increase access to decent employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, UN Women has provided vocational training to young, out-of-school women.

UN Women provided training in computer skills to girls and young women around the world, including in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in South Sudan and Nat community girls in India.

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In Pakistan, women and girls were supported to use home-based food production methods.

UN Women works with governments to introduce policy reforms for education and skills development for young women.

In Albania, UN Women provided technical advice and training to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth on gender-responsive budgeting, which resulted in the development of gender-specific objectives.

In the Asia-Pacific region, UN Women supported the development of gender-inclusive curricula for public schools.

To promote young women’s innovation and entrepreneurship, UN Women launched a Global Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs on World Youth Skills Day, on 15 July 2016.

Speech: “Establishment of this global coalition of young women’s entrepreneurship is a LEAP in the right direction”

Opening remarks by Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women at the side event, “Establishing the Global Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs – Promoting Innovation and Skills” on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day. More

From where I stand
Sandra Letio. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Sandra Letio

“I started my business with 15 dollars...”

SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

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