Across almost every economy in the world, women earn less than men. According to a 2017 Oxfam report, globally women earn 24 percent less than men. Women are also less likely to be in paid work in the first place.
This gendered poverty is not limited to developing countries. In the UK following prolonged policies of austerity by the government, the Women’s Budget Group together with the Runnymede Trust found that tax and benefit changes have hit the poorest hardest, women harder than men, and black and ethnic minority women hardest of all.
Poverty puts women at risk of sexual exploitation
The intersecting poverty and discrimination disproportionately experienced by women, girls and gender non-conforming people, people of color, migrants and LGBTQ+ people leaves them at greater risk of sexual exploitation.
Sexual exploitation is rooted in gender and other systematic inequalities, and men’s power to exploit. When men pay for sex, they are directly or indirectly taking advantage of the gender and structural discrimination, and economic inequality faced by women and other vulnerable people, for the sake of their own personal sexual gratification and entitlement.
Women and girls should live safe, fearless and free
Equality Now believes that all women and girls should be able to live safe, fearless and free and to enjoy sexual freedom.
Such freedom means the freedom