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CGD’s work on gender focuses policies in aid, development finance, trade, migration and peacekeeping that will improve women’s economic empowerment worldwide.
Greater equality drives big gains in health, education, employment, and improved livelihoods—for individuals, their families, and their communities. However, in many parts of the world, women and girls, and other marginalized groups including LGBT people, still face legal, economic, and political constraints that prevent them from participating fully and equally in society. CGD uses evidence to show how governments, donor institutions, and the private sector can help create conditions in low- and middle-income countries that allow all people to thrive.
A number of countries worldwide have laws that specifically discriminate against women’s participation in the workforce, including bans on particular occupations, restrictions on opening bank accounts or taking jobs without a male family member’s authority, and restrictions on travel. Such discriminatory laws are associated with considerably lower female labor force participation and with negative consequences for economic growth and sustainable development. They also contradict globally accepted norms and values on gender equality in the workplace.
Using the 1986 Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act as a model, our proposal encourages US firms based abroad to mitigate the impact of discriminatory laws, and in doing so allow women to better access employment and participate fully in the workforce.
In any given economy, women make up at least half the work force. Yet in many countries, women hold fewer assets and earn less than men. We already know why: income inequality is a direct consequence of gender inequality, highlighting the importance of gender equality for development. In fact, an entire Global Goal has been dedicated to greater gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The question now is how to achieve that goal, and that’s what Susan Markham, USAID Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, discusses on this week’s podcast.
The importance of ID for empowering women and girls is spot-on, but so far discussions about identification and gender haven’t given equal attention to the other side of the equation. And new data shows that when it comes to identification and gender equality, we encounter a two-way street. Identification isn’t just critical for achieving gender equality; addressing underlying gender discrimination is essential to making sure that all people have identification and the benefits that come along with it.
There is still a considerable global agenda to improve three interlinked components of achieving gender equality—attitudes, laws, and outcomes, particularly in the marketplace—and no time like right now to start.
Christal Morehouse, Alla Volkova, and Silvia Fierăscu of The Open Society Foundation (OSF) have just issued a fascinating report on the gender breakdown of speakers at 23 high-level conferences across Europe—including nine forums, six conferences, four meetings, three summits, and a games and an ideas lab.