Gender & Equality

The Solidarity Center empowers women workers to confront and challenge global systems that subject them to discrimination in the workplace.

The global economy is not working for working women. Women contribute 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food. Yet they earn 10 percent of income and own 1 percent of property.  Millions of women live in poverty—they account for 70 percent of the world’s poor. Women also are highly likely to experience violence at home or at the workplace: Up to seven in 10 women globally will be beaten, raped abused or mutilated in their lifetimes.

Photo Essay

Kyrgyzstan, Solidarity Center

With Solidarity Center Support, women around the world are advocating for themselves, their families and communities through unions. See more.

Women have long represented the majority of teachers, health care workers and public-sector employees—services fundamental to people’s well-being. Less recognized is the essential nature of their labor in the informal economy. Toiling as domestic workers and cart vendors, women are paid low incomes and have few rights, even as their labor makes up a significant portion of national economies. At the same time, women retain primary responsibility for the care and survival of their families. In the home, at the workplace and even within union structures, women everywhere face persistent and pervasive discrimination. Worker rights mean an end to such discrimination.

Through Solidarity Center programs, women are joining and leading unions, advocating for themselves and their families and standing up for the rights of all workers worldwide. We provide training and foster the leadership skills needed to give women a voice in their unions, in their workplaces and in the global economy. Tens of thousands of women have participated in these trainings in recent years.

As more join together in unions and allied networks, women are increasingly empowering themselves and each other in the struggle for economic fairness.