Evidence for Action: Gender Equality and Economic Growth
By : Chatham House, ; Vivid Economics
Gender equality is a critical component of societal progress. It reflects basic rights that do not need any economic justification. This is reflected in the explicit inclusion of gender-related development objectives in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Yet it is also the case that gender equality has broad and positive implications for economic and social development. A significant reduction in maternal mortality remains elusive and the MDG that specifically aims to promote gender equality and empower women will not be achieved at current rates of progress, especially in Africa and South East Asia. To deliver the MDGs, including MDG3 (Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women) and its supporting targets, it is also critical to raise the level of debate and achieve visibility for gender equality through strong factual evidence, as well as effective communication. The report sets out the available evidence on how greater gender equality in the developing world could enhance economic growth – using DFID’s eight key factors for economic growth as a framework for prioritising and organising the evidence. These factors — human capital, physical capital, the rule of law, competitive markets, macroeconomic stability, infrastructure, openness to trade and investment and increased agricultural productivity — can be thought of as the most important conditions which are likely to ensure that strong economic performance will be established itself and endure within any given country. It also sets out how the achievement of the MDGs relating to gender equality will help secure achievement of the other MDGs and presents a menu of strategic policy options.
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