OXFAMExchange Spring 2004

Engendering an Equitable Society: Focus on Women's Rights

When it comes to fostering lasting change, investing in women makes a lot of sense.

In any society, developing or not, women are likely to be poorer, less educated, and less empowered than men. Oxfam recognizes women should be valued equally and enabled to reach their potential. What’s more, research has shown that when women earn income, they are more likely than men to spend it on family welfare. And when women are educated, they make decisions that benefit their families and influence their communities.

In the pages that follow, you'll read about how Oxfam is targeting the laws in Mozambique and the gender violence in El Salvador that severely disadvantage women. You'll also learn how Oxfam is equipping women to mediate peace in West Africa and to grow the income of their families. In every case, when it comes to empowering women, men are an equal part of the equation. Oxfam is striving to shape societies that not only permit women to be contributors, but societies that recognize that if they don't seize upon what women can offer, they are failing to leverage one of their most valuable assets.

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