28 Oct 2016

Oxfam wants poverty reduction focus on women

11:06 am on 28 October 2016
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Photo: 123RF

Oxfam New Zealand's executive director told a discussion in Wellington that any focus on poverty reduction must target women and girls.

Rachael Le Mesurier was among a group of economists, trade negotiators, and NGO leaders exploring the right combination of aid and trade to lift people out of poverty in developing countries.

The United Nations' Millennium Development Goal of halving the world's extreme poverty by 2015 was achieved five years early.

But Rachael Le Mesurier says most of these figures apply to males.

She says the UNDP's figures from 2014 show 70% of the estimated 746 million people who still live in extreme poverty are female.

"So one of the things in this panel is we need to look at what can we do to try and get to that last 10 to 11 percent [of the world's population]. Oxfam's position would be, focus on women and girls."

Rachael Le Mesurier says the significant economic gains women have made in developed countries have been achieved by participation in the workforce, but this is not the case in developing nations.