Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chaired the first-ever Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy in San Francisco, California. Hosted by the United States, hundreds of private sector leaders and government officials gathered this week to discuss the inclusion of women as an economic growth strategy and to recommend concrete policies to increase women’s economic participation in the region.
In her remarks, the Secretary made the evidence-based case for the inclusion of women as a vital source of economic growth. She articulated important steps in a path toward the Participation Age—where every individual has the opportunity to be a contributing and valued member of the global marketplace—including strategies to remove barriers that have prevented women from being full participants in the economy and unlock their potential as drivers of economic growth.
Women are already key drivers of economic growth in the APEC economies.
Yet, women face barriers to economic participation and productivity, which undermines the economic progress of entire nations.
If we address the barriers to women’s economic participation, we can fundamentally transform our economies.
In her remarks, the Secretary outlined a vision for a fundamental transformation of our economies. She also called for more and better data to measure our results and drive our policy-making. And, she challenged the leaders of APEC economies to take concrete steps, including these outlined in the San Francisco Declaration, which will be delivered to the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu in November:
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[iii]Economic and Statistics Administration, United States Department of Commerce, (2010, October). “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century” (prepared for the White House Council on Women and Girls),
[iv] Joanna Barsh and Lareina Yee, (2011, April). “Unlocking the Full Potential Of Women in the US Economy,” McKinsey and Company, available online at http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/organization/latest_thinking/unlocking_the_full_potential.aspx
[vi] OECD Report on the Gender Initiative (2011). “Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship.” Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level Paris, 25-26 May 2011, available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/7/5/48111145.pdf. See also Ricardo Hausmann, Laura D. Tyson, and Saadia Zahidi. (2010). “Global Gender Gap Report 2010.” Geneva: World Economic Forum; International Trade Union Confederation. (2008). “The Global Gender Pay Gap.” Brussels: ITUC.
[vii] World Bank (2010). “Women’s Economic Opportunities in the Formal Private Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. A Focus on Entrepreneurship.” World Bank, Washington, DC.
[viii] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2010), “The World's Women 2010: The Trends and Statistics.” New York: United Nations, pp. 170-173.
[ix] Hausmann, Tyson, and Zahidi, op cit.
[x] Kevin Daly. (2007, April 3). “Gender Inequality, Growth and Global Ageing” (Global Economics Paper No. 154). London: Goldman Sachs.
[xi] Sandra Lawson. (2008, March 4). “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” (Global Economics Paper, No. 164). New York: Goldman Sachs.
[xii] Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre. (2009). “Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest, Fastest-Growing Market.” New York: HarperCollins, updated 2011, Boston Consulting Group survey data.
[xiii] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2011); “The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11: Women in Agriculture.” Rome: FAO (2011).
[xiv] Martha A. Chen and Donald Snodgrass. (2001). “Managing Resources, Activities and Risks in Urban India: The Impact of SEWA Bank.” Washington, DC: Assessing the Impact of Microenterprise Services ( AIMS Project), USAID. See also Sam Afrane. (2003). “Impact Assessment of Microfinance: Interventions in Ghana and South Africa, A Synthesis of Major Impacts and Lessons,” Journal of Microfinance, 4(1): 37-58 Stephanie Seguino and Maria Sagrario, (2003).”Does Gender Have Any Effect on Aggregate Saving? An Empirical Analysis,” International Review of Applied Economics, 17(2), pp. 147-66.
[xv] Lois Joy, Nancy M. Carter, Harvey M. Wagner, and Sriram Narayanan (2007). “The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women's Representation on Boards.” Catalyst. Available online at http://www.catalyst.org/publication/200/the-bottom-line-corporate-performance-and-womens-representation-on-boards
[xvi] McKinsey and Company, (2009). “The Business of Empowering Women.”, Available online at http://www.mckinsey.com/App_Media/Reports/SSO/EmpWomen_USA4_Letter.pdf.