ATAF Women: Taxing for Equality. #WHRD2023
Bridging the Gap Between Taxation and Gender Rights
On this World Human Rights Day, the ATAF Women in Tax Network (AWITN) emphasizes the inseparable connection between gender equality and human rights, urging collective action to dismantle barriers hindering progress.
Established by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) in March 2021, AWITN has been actively working towards empowering women in the field of taxation and addressing gender inequality issues, aligning with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 5 and AU Agenda 2063.
Human rights, a cornerstone of societal values, are universal and transcend borders, encompassing the rights and dignity of every individual. However, the realization of these rights is not uniform, particularly impacting marginalized groups, with gender being a significant axis of disparity.
AWITN emphasizes that the struggle for gender equality extends beyond women's rights, aiming to combat the multifaceted layers of discrimination faced by individuals with diverse gender experiences.
The network highlights over 65 women's rights outlined by the OECD, covering diverse topics such as family, physical integrity, access to resources, and civil liberties. While many of these agreements are not legally binding, they symbolize global efforts to promote and protect women's rights.
In a ground-breaking move, AWITN is delving into the nuanced relationship between taxation and gender rights. Recognizing that tax policies are far from gender-neutral, the network asserts that women often bear a disproportionate tax burden. This burden is exacerbated by a gender pay gap and tax structures that overlook the significant contribution of unpaid care work, primarily shouldered by women.
The AWITN advocates for policy reforms, emphasizing the importance of tax authorities collecting gender-disaggregated data. The belief is that such data will provide valuable insights into the economic activities and behaviors of men and women, enabling policymakers to design fair and responsive tax policies that cater to the needs of all genders.
As the world reflects on the progress made since the inclusion of gender equality in international human rights law in 1948, AWITN calls for a renewed commitment to dismantling barriers obstructing the path to gender equality.
The network acknowledges the strides made but emphasizes the need for continued collective efforts to redefine the narrative and create a world where human rights are inseparable from gender equality.
To learn more about the ATAF Women in Tax Network and become a member, visit ATAF’s website.