Cover Image
close this bookBreaking the Barriers - Women and the Elimination of World Poverty (DFID, 1999, 24 p.)
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close this folderWomen's inequality and world poverty
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View the documentOur Policy
View the documentPartnerships
close this folderPoverty and sustainable livelihoods
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View the documentWomen and Agriculture
View the documentManaging Forests
View the documentUrban Poverty
View the documentCredit and Financial Services
close this folderMore power for women
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View the documentGovernment
View the documentCivil Society
View the documentViolence and Conflict
close this folderEducation and health
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close this folderEDUCATION
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View the documentSchooling
View the documentLiteracy and Non-Formal Education
close this folderHEALTH
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View the documentChildren by Choice
View the documentMaternal Mortality
View the documentSexual Health...
View the document...Including for Young People
View the documentInvolving Women
View the documentFemale Genital Mutilation
close this folderWomen-friendly infrastructure
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View the documentTravel and Transport
View the documentWater and Sanitation
View the documentImproving Basic Services
View the documentEasing Women's Workload
close this folderWorking with international partners
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View the documentIn the EU
View the documentAt the UN
View the documentWorld Bank
View the documentOECD
View the documentThe Commonwealth
View the documentBuilding capacity and measuring progress
View the documentThe future


United Nations estimates suggest: that up to 70% of the world's poor are female.

Gender discrimination is the world ''s most widespread form of social exclusion.

Women's inequality is a key-obstacle to development and a major cause of social injustice.

Women in the developing world play a vital role. They manage community resources, help protect the environment, maintain peace and keep societies together. They make up most of the labour force. They are responsible for bringing up children and passing on knowledge to the next generation. But most women's work is unpaid and unacknowledged.

Women are poorly represented in positions of power. Their opportunities to act on their own behalf are often severely limited. Where they do try to assert their rights, they are often met with strong opposition and sometimes intimidation and violence.

Calls for change in the social, economic, and political relations between the sexes and an end to gender discrimination are being voiced increasingly strongly. These calls have been echoed in international meetings and agreements, most notably the Global Platform for Action agreed at the I995 World Conference on Women at Beijing. They are also reflected in the International Development Targets for the 2Ist Century.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to women's equality. World poverty cannot be eliminated without it. This booklet describes our policy and gives examples of how we put this into practice. We are making good progress, but there is still a long way to go and many lessons to be learned.