Expanding Employment Opportunities for Stigmatized Women in BRICS

Posted in: BRICS, Gender Equality

Guest Blogger Victoria Stetsko from Oxfam GB in Russia reviews on Becky Perkins’ analysis of existing practices of expanding employment opportunities for especially stigmatized women in BRICS countries.

Women’s groups worldwide have been long pushing for inclusion of non-gender neutral and women-specific recommendations in the global advocacy agenda at various global forums. The spiralling unemployment rates and pressure from global civil society resulted in the G20 leaders to set a specific goal of shortening a gender gap in employment for women by 25% by 2025. However we believe it’s time to take a step even further and pay attention to a group of women who are trapped in the intersecting discriminations based on their sexual orientation, health status and other factors. The mount of evidence, mostly collected by civil society actors, shows that women living with HIV, drug addiction, involved in sex work and LGBT persons face severe limitations in access to economic opportunity and decent jobs. We believe it’s time to highlight these discriminations and show the governments that their efforts in bridging gender gap in employment will only be successful if they finally pay attention and address issues faced by especially stigmatized women and persons.

The reason why we address our recommendations to BRICS leaders is because these countries in general score lower in gender equality, and gender issues not being taken by their governments as seriously as in some of the G20 countries. Therefore the paper we’ve developed together with EVA Network presents an opportunity to look at what practices there are in advancing access to economic opportunities for women in BRICS countries, and how do they compare to existing practices in some other G20 countries. Even though we realize that BRICS countries are still very diverse in terms of their treatment of women and sexual minorities, we found that especially stigmatized women and persons still face very similar problems worldwide, and we want to bring the global community and leaders’ attention to it, and offer some complex solutions.

This analysis paper sets the discussion about the state of gender affairs in BRICS world, and attempts to offer the leaders the direction in which to develop their policies, civil society – a situation report and a foundation for advocacy at the global level with the aim of empowerment of especially stigmatized women. As members of the ECSN Gender Taskforce we hope to use this report and the policy paper we’re developing in its framework as advocacy tools at the coming C/G20 in China and CIVIL BRICS in India. The topic fits perfectly in Inequality, Economic Growth and Job Creation track of the CIVIL BRICS, and presents a follow-up to the G20 leaders’ commitment to bridge the gender gap in employment between men and women by 25% by 2025.

For the full report please download: Expanding Employment Opportunities for Especially Stigmatized Women in BRICS

Please follow our updates on the Policy Position Paper development in near future.

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