Empowering women economically helps women to reach their full potential and advances sustainable development. If women had full and equal economic participation, it is estimated this would add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025.

Businesses can play a vital role in enabling women to participate equally in the global economy and overcome poverty. Oxfam’s work with the private sector seeks to address many barriers to women’s economic empowerment, including low pay, vulnerability to exploitation, insecure jobs, limited access to opportunities, social norms that restrict their activities, and the heavy burden of unpaid care.

We want business to include women in the supply chains and opportunities they create, but our aim goes well beyond ‘inclusion’. We work with business to address gender equality at multiple levels: supporting women farmers in cooperatives to engage with processors and traders, investing in SMEs that empower women, working with industry associations and standard-setting bodies to incorporate gender perspectives, engaging with large companies on decent work for women in their supply chain, and harnessing the marketing power of brands to challenge harmful social norms.

Throughout our work and as part of our commitment to promote gender equality and women’s rights, Oxfam looks to create opportunities to enable women to access better quality work, improved labour conditions and increased wages. We strive to empower women to fully participate in business decisions and benefit from an equal share of resources.


In Uganda, for instance, beekeeping used to be a predominantly male activity, with women rarely having an opportunity to get involved. However, since Oxfam and our partners started providing women with the training they needed, they have become successful beekeepers, full of ideas and innovation. Not only do the women we work with produce and sell the honey they harvest, they use beeswax to make candles and buy livestock with the money they earn through their beekeeping enterprises.

Women beekeepers in Uganda | #IrishAidWorks

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If you would like to discuss how your company can get involved with Oxfam Ireland, please contact IRL-info@oxfam.org or call (+353) 1 6727662.