Making markets work for women The global labour market is failing women. Only 50% of women are engaged in work worldwide. Women remain more vulnerable to exploitation and violence and are often unable to access lucrative industries. It doesn’t stop there: globally, women earn about 23% less than men. Yet, women are a powerful economic resource. Increasing the participation of women in the labour market can stimulate growth and increase household incomes worldwide, and as managers of household finances, boost the amount of money available for children’s education. Undoubtedly – everyone is better off when women earn. In agriculture, women make up 43% of the labour force in developing countries, but statistics often underestimate the amount of work women actually do. Despite many women being excluded from formal, big corporate markets, there is a huge opportunity for women to strengthen the economy of developing countries. To ensure change is sustainable, women must be included in economic markets. Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) – an approach which changes market systems to benefit the poor – aims to ensure the inclusion of women by breaking down barriers of market access such as unaffordability and lack of information.