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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.

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.

Reporter’s Notebook: Migrant women in Qatar’s hotels speak out

Migrant women working in Qatar's World Cup hotels have said they were ignored when they made allegations of harassment or abuse.

Female migrant workers speak out about harassment in Qatar’s World Cup hotels

As the FIFA World Cup starts, migrant women working in Qatar's hotels say their allegations of harassment or abuse have been ignored.

“Neither a widow nor a wife”: India’s abandoned brides

Fraudster husbands in India get married and make promises to take their new wives abroad. But once they receive a dowry, they leave the brides behind. Abused and defrauded, these women are trying to put…

Reporter’s Notebook: Ukraine’s women farmers battle air raids and blockades to keep the world fed

As the breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine plays a crucial role in the global food supply and the Russian invasion has had a devastating impact. Contributor Amie Ferris-Rotman spoke to the women farmers fighting to keep the world fed as war rages around them.

The Ukrainian women farmers fighting to keep the world fed

The war in Ukraine is taking a terrible toll on the country’s farmers and the world’s hungry, exacerbating an already crippling food crisis. These Ukrainian women farmers on the front lines of Russia’s hunger war.

Financial Pandemic: 'What I thought was a great salary wasn’t so great with more than 65 percent inflation'

Argentine Silvana Perona, 45, spent much of the past two decades working in finance in Europe but moved home to Buenos Aires during the pandemic to be closer to her elderly parents. Even though her work is well-paid, the country's worst inflation in 30 years has left her counting every penny.
Related:
- For a refugee in crisis-hit Lebanon, even buying bread is a struggle
- As living costs spiral in Kenya, a mother sacrifices to spare family from ‘dire times’
- ‘Sri Lanka is not a country for poor people now’ - A Lima woman is fighting to feed her community as food prices soar

Financial Pandemic: For a refugee in crisis-hit Lebanon, even buying bread is a struggle 

Zahwa Ashwah, a widow in her sixties, lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon, where food and fuel prices have soared since a 2019 economic crisis. She and her family now struggle to afford enough to eat.
Related:
- As living costs spiral in Kenya, a mother sacrifices to spare family from ‘dire times’
- ‘Sri Lanka is not a country for poor people now’
- Lima woman fights to feed her community as food prices soar

The hidden toll of heat waves on women in South Asia

South Asia has endured an unprecedented heat wave, with March seeing the hottest temperatures on record in India. Evidence suggests the heat is landing a cruel double blow on women’s income and health.

Related: Reporter’s Notebook: Women’s invisibility in climate stories erase their narratives. The result is bad policy

Baby formula marketing practices are still too aggressive, WHO report finds


The baby milk formula shortage in the United States has overshadowed fresh scrutiny over the industry’s dubious marketing. Globally, experts warn that these companies have long employed predatory marketing in order to maximize the purchase of formula at the expense of breastfeeding.

Related: The loneliest lactation consultant in the world

Reporter’s Notebook: Women’s invisibility in climate stories erase their narratives. The result is bad policy

According to official government statistics, 75.7% of rural women in India are engaged in agriculture. But in article after article, farmers are often exclusively portrayed as men. With the changing climate hitting the agriculture sector hard, women’s invisibility in media coverage leaves their distress unacknowledged.

Financial Pandemic: 'Everything is harder now'

Asencia Tuamana, 55, started “Bello Horizonte,” a communal kitchen, in September 2020 to share resources during a nationwide lockdown that left millions of Peruvians with no income. She serves as many as 140 people during the week — even as rising costs make her daily work increasingly more difficult.

Financial Pandemic: ‘Sri Lanka is not a country for poor people now’

Cooking has become an act of danger for a Sri Lankan woman who can no longer afford to safely heat her stove. As gas prices more than double, kerosene and firewood, more affordable but hazardous, are the next viable option. Read Feroza Hussein’s story on how the country’s economic crisis has permeated all aspects of her life.

Financial Pandemic: As living costs spiral in Kenya, a mother sacrifices to spare family from ‘dire times’

With food prices soaring to over 12% over the past year, the economic repercussions of the pandemic are being heavily felt across Kenya. Women are particularly vulnerable.

‘We have to fight back.’ Afghan women are losing their hard-won right to work under the Taliban

Afghan women's participation in the workforce rose steadily in the 20 years after the Taliban were ousted from government. Since they returned to power, those gains have been rapidly eroding. Now activists fear a new edict mandating the burqa in public could destroy them altogether.
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