While International Women’s Day events now fill corporate calendars around the world, its origins in the global labour movement cannot be forgotten – it is a day to acknowledge that gendered oppression disproportionately affects women in all spheres of life, from the home to the workplace, to the corridors of power. Taxation is no exception.

Tax abuses by multinational corporations undercut the provision of public services which are both provided, and relied on, by women more than men. Meanwhile it is typically women who bear the brunt of regressive taxes used by governments to raise lost revenue. Gender biases in tax law – often implicit – almost always benefit men, while the unpaid work mostly carried out by women, to the tune of trillions worldwide, is rendered invisible in our tax systems.

This can be seen in CICTAR’s own reports, which have often focused on companies operating in sectors which disproportionately employ women, for example aged care. From Manchester to Montreal, we see companies engaged in aggressive tax avoidance schemes, taking advantage of society’s undervaluing of care work to underpay workers. The result is dangerous conditions for both staff and residents, both predominantly women. Investors, predominantly men, are permitted to extract profits from public funding. It is not coincidental that such abuse takes place in sectors where women dominate the workforce.

As we emerge from a global pandemic into a potentially global conflict, International Women’s Day 2022 offers yet another stark reminder that another world is necessary, one which ends the oppression of women in all forms. Reforming national and international tax structures and shining a light on abuse will play a more important role in this struggle than most people yet realize.