Women and Youth in productive activities
Women and youth face distinct challenges in participating in the productive sectors of the economy. Although women and youth are not a homogeneous group and their circumstances vary according to age, class, education, ethnicity, location and other cultural- and socio-economic characteristics, it is widely acknowledged that women and youth bear a disproportionate burden of global poverty.
Large and growing youth unemployment threatens sustainable development and social stability, and women continue to experience barriers in almost every aspect of economic life. Women suffer from persistent social and cultural discrimination and unequal access to and control over assets and services.
The primary focus of IFFFAP’s activities in this area is on the knowledge, skills, technologies and business support services needed to enable women and youth to engage in productive activities, generate income, and thereby reduce poverty. IFFFAP assists governments in developing policies that are gender and age-responsive.
This is achieved through capacity-building activities and policies so as to equip women and youth with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to seize economic opportunities, gain control of their lives and exert influence in society.
Gender equality is promoted by increasing opportunities for both girls and boys, for example through education and the ability to make vocational choices that combat gender divisions in the labour market. IFFFAP’s activities in this area also concentrate on the creation of an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs; support for youth entrepreneurship; and the promotion of clusters and partnerships to facilitate access to information, technology and markets for both demographics.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies. When women play an active role in civil society and politics, governments tend to be more open, responsive and transparent. When women are at the negotiating table, peace agreements are more durable. And women often lead the way in managing and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Women and girls are poised to be key drivers of progress and growth but they need to be empowered through equal rights and equal opportunities. They need to be prepared for a 21st century economy through connection to finance, digital literacy, science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics. And they need to be valued as leaders, peace-builders, and breadwinners in their communities and societies.