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How to Increase Global Economic Growth and Reduce Gender Gaps

Global Economic Growth-Obtaining the benefits of economic equality for women

Global Economic Growth-Too many women are excluded from economic possibilities, which is unjust and detrimental to everyone’s ability to grow and be resilient. We are aware that in nations with higher gender inequality, simply bridging the gap between women’s labour force participation and men’s could boost GDP by an average of 35%.

However, progress is sluggish, and shocks like natural catastrophes, social upheaval, and war continue to exacerbate gender inequality by having a negative impact on women’s life and means of subsistence or by stopping them from going to work or education.

By assisting the recovery and enhancing economies’ resilience to shocks in the future, appropriate economic and financial policies can help reverse these undesirable consequences. In other words, a dividend for women is a dividend for everyone.

For instance, while the epidemic furthered the status of women worldwide, it also sparked policy advancements.

Several unusual pandemic relief initiatives focused on women and their participation in social safety nets. The latter makes it simpler to offer specialised support to deal with the present increases in food and gasoline prices.

There are tried-and-true approaches that policymakers may use to embrace macroeconomic measures that are gender-sensitive. spending on women’s human capital first.

In growing and developing economies, equitable access for women to food, healthcare, and education has a particularly substantial positive impact. Consider cash transfers that support families in need in nations with weaker social safety nets.
Early in the epidemic, Brazil created the Emergency Aid cash transfer programme, which gave women-led households twice as much assistance. According to IMF staff estimates, without Emergency Aid, the poverty rate among these households would have risen from 11% to more than 30%; instead, it decreased to roughly 8%. Additionally, Egypt recently increased the amount of money it provides low-income single moms to help them keep their kids healthy and in school.

Mobile technology accelerated the distribution of emergency funds during the epidemic in Togo, which benefited women in particular.
Allowing women to work outside the home or launch their own enterprises is the second proven approach. Taxation, governmental expenditure, financial infrastructure, regulatory changes, and labour market changes can all benefit. More women can work because they have access to high-quality, affordable daycare, which also directly generates jobs.

Expanding universal daycare in Norway raised women’ chances of finding jobs by 32 percentage points. Access to mobile phones and the internet creates new avenues for economic potential in emerging and developing nations. For instance, according to IMF research, conventional and digital finance are assisting in bridging the gender gap in access to financial services, such as microlending, which lowers income inequality and boosts GDP.

Biases are a third issue to address. Only 12 of the 190 nations assessed by the World Bank determined that women and men had equal legal status. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, gender-based discrimination in social institutions costs the global economy $6 trillion. But over the last few years, nations have worked to cut these expenses through social and legal initiatives including banning child marriage, making domestic abuse a crime, and electing more women to public office.

Fourth, it is crucial to increase the number of women in positions of leadership.According to IMF study, higher financial resilience is correlated with more women working in financial institutions and formulating financial policy.And inMore women in leadership positions are linked to improved performance and profitability in the corporate sector and fintech companies, respectively.

The Gender Strategy of the IMF

For a number of years, the IMF has helped members implement and enhance gender policies. The first complete IMF Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender was just agreed by our Executive Board, and it will assist our members in customising pro-gender equality measures to their specific situation.

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