Women and children pay the highest price when tax revenues are reduced through tax treaties, a research done by ActionAid, has shown.


Tax treaties are agreement between two countries to limit tax rights and regulate or even totally cancel a country’s taxation of foreign owned company regardless of how profitable the company is.

In the research, titled ‘The tax treaties that are depriving the world’s poorest counties of vital revenue’, ActionAid noted that “where states don’t have enough revenue to provide essential public services, it is more likely to be women who fill the gap with their bodies and time by providing unpaid labour and care”.

The organisation also said when taxes are inadequate, leaving nations, mostly developing ones, with less revenue for development, women, who have the reproductive and maternal needs and rely on health services for these needs are short-changed.


ActionAid, in its findings, said countries with extremely low tax collections suffer from the highest child mortality levels.

While a direct causal relationship has not been established, the organisation said it is not a coincidence since children, vulnerable to illnesses because of the young ages, cannot access adequate health when there is a shortage of funds that can be gotten from rightfully taxing foreign countries.

Actionaid also noted that “women are less likely to own the kinds of businesses where multinational tax breaks are available”.


The organisation said “tax avoidance strategies used by some multinational corporations deprive the world’s most impoverished communities of vital revenues”.

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