Gender equality and women empowerment in social economy enterprises: enablers and barriers

Women remain underrepresented in the labour market. In the EU, they earn 14,1% less than men, and they still experience barriers to access and remain at the labour market (Eurostat, 2021a). Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the gender dimension of social and economic inequalities, producing a severe gender impact and the risk of economic marginalisation of women. Why do we expect the social and solidarity economy to improve gender equality at work? Therefore, the paper will discuss the potential and limits of the SEEs in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The analysis has referenced existing literature and available information on the sector, including interviews with experts and illustrative cases within Diesis Network, one of the broadest European networks supporting the social economy and social enterprise development. The aim is to show impactful solutions of SEEs and bring social and solidarity economy closer to the gender perspective to increase their impact in supporting inclusive and sustainable growth.

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