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Economy & Labor

Spotlighting the unique challenges faced by women in the global workforce -- from lower wages to sexual and physical abuse and human trafficking -- and holding accountable those who perpetrate or allow such injustices.
IWD Economy Labor SA Layered (1)
(Illustration by Susie Ang/The Fuller Project)

The women workers who are subsidizing global public health

Millions of community health workers, like the famous ASHA workers of India, form the cost-effective backbone of rural health programs around the world but are often unpaid — meaning millions of unpaid or underpaid women…

Peace and Security Depends on Closing the Workforce Gender Gap

As COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and daycare, huge numbers of women left the workforce as women took on more unpaid caregiving and home-schooling responsibilities than men. They haven’t come back.  Workforce parity is at its…

Vassar College lawsuit shows women’s labor is still undervalued in education

Vassar College calls itself a pioneer for women’s education, founded in 1861 to offer women, as its website says, “a fully equivalent education to that of the best men’s colleges of the period.” Five female…

She escaped her husband’s physical violence – but economic ties kept them connected for years

The financial system has become a new frontier in the fight against intimate partner violence.

Debt ceiling deal leaves older women at risk of losing benefits

750,000 people aged 50-54 are expected to lose food stamp benefits because of spending caps. Most of them will be women.

Will California crack down on cash apps that trap women in debt?

Cash advance apps promise women financial freedom, but often leave them trapped in a cycle of debt.

“This is ours” – Somaliland women smell success as frankincense business takes off

Somaliland's female frankincense workers have set up their own cooperative to take back control after years of low pay and harsh conditions.

India’s solar power push delivers an unexpected bonus – empowering rural women

India’s push for solar delivers unexpected gains for women in the country’s rural areas.

Living on the Edge: how the “benefits cliff” holds women back

Economists call the dilemma the “benefits cliff”: get a new job or a promotion, and a rise in income beyond a certain threshold can disqualify people from benefits which they rely on to survive.

A decade after Rana Plaza’s collapse, factories are safer but women garment workers face new threats

A decade after Rana Plaza’s collapse killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh, women in the industry face new threats.

“There’s no support” — Undocumented and unemployed in pandemic-era California

The lack of unemployment protections for undocumented women were exacerbated during the pandemic.

Anxious wait for working mothers as last of California’s pandemic relief set to expire

A period of unprecedented aid reduced racial disparity in the Golden State, but all that remains is a child care subsidy that ends this summer.

A growing number of women farmers are changing the face of California’s agricultural industry

Farming is Female: women farmers in California are changing the face of the agricultural industry in their state and across the country.

In Thailand, an Uphill Battle to Legalize Sex Work

Sex workers and liberal politicians are fighing an uphill battle to legalize sex work in Thailand.

Three decades after the FMLA became law, caregiving responsibilities still knock women out of the workforce

Thirty years ago, on Feb. 5, 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work when they…

A rare instance of accountability

Overharvesting of frankincense led our reporter down a years-long investigation into abuse and exploitation in the essential oils industry.

Somaliland’s Frankincense Brings Gold to Companies. Its Women Pay the Price.

Female workers tell of exploitation and sexual assault at frankincense warehouse supplying US essential oils company.

Qatar’s World Cup Legacy Is Stranded Worker Widows

As the most controversial World Cup in recent memory draws to a close, thousands of widows across South Asia are left picking up the pieces of their shattered lives.
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