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IMFSurvey Magazine: IMF Research

Equality of Sexes is Smart Economics

Boosting women's participation in the labor force can help in battle to reduce poverty, promote growth (photo: Andy Sacks/Jupiter)

EMPOWERING WOMEN

Equality of Sexes is Smart Economics

IMF Survey online

July 5, 2007

A hot topic at summits of global leaders over the past few years has been how the global community is doing in its efforts to meet the eight 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Those that draw the most attention are the MDGs dealing with poverty, hunger, health, education, and the environment. But little discussed is MDG3, which calls for redressing gender disparities and empowering women.

The latest issue of the IMF's quarterly magazine Finance & Development spotlights gender equality, asking why it matters. We learn that not only is MDG3 a vital development objective but it is also key to achieving several others—such as universal primary education (MDG2), a reduction in under-5 mortality (MDG4), improvements in maternal health (MDG5), and a reduced possibility of contracting HIV/AIDS (MDG6). Moreover, greater gender equality can also help to reduce poverty (MDG1) and promote growth.

One way for countries to pinpoint policies needed to reduce gender disparities is through gender budgeting, which involves the systematic examination of budget programs and policies for their impact on women. As "Budgeting with Women in Mind" explains, this effort to mainstream gender analysis into government policies has gained prominence in recent years.

One of the hardest-hit groups is the millions of "excluded" girls, who aren't even enrolled in school. These girls face discrimination and indifference in their own countries because they come from ethnic minorities, isolated clans, and groups in which the majority language isn't predominant.

Read the group of articles:

Smart Economics

Mayra Buvinic and Elizabeth M. King
Greater gender equality can help in the battle to reduce poverty (MDG1) and promote growth—directly by boosting women's participation in the labor force and increasing both productivity and earnings, and indirectly through the beneficial effects of women's empowerment on children's human capital and well-being.

Effort to mainstream gender analysis into government policies has gained prominence in recent years (photo: Jim Pickerell/Stock Connection)

Budgeting with Women in Mind

Janet Stotsky
Two recent IMF studies focus on the interaction between gender and macroeconomics and gender and budget processes. One way for countries to pinpoint policies needed to reduce gender disparities is through gender budgeting, which involves the systematic examination of budget programs and policies for their impact on women

Getting All Girls into School

Maureen Lewis and Marlaine Lockheed
Despite important progress in recent years, an estimated 43 million girls around the world are still not enrolled in school. The majority of them are from socially excluded groups. New strategies for educating these "excluded girls" must be found.


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