A number of studies over the past few years have shown that gender equality is "smart economics." The untapped potential of women remains a lost opportunity for economic growth and development the world can ill afford. Women’s economic participation promotes agricultural productivity, enterprise development at the micro, small, and medium enterprise levels, as well as enhances business management and returns on investment.
In addition to boosting economic growth, investing in women produces a multiplier effect – women reinvest a large portion of their income in their families and communities. Women also play key roles in creating peaceful and stable societies –important factors for economic growth. Unfortunately, these benefits have not been universally recognized and have therefore not translated into women’s full economic participation. Women still face obstacles when trying to establish new businesses or expand existing ones. Among the biggest hurdles are discriminatory laws, regulations and business conditions, as well as women’s lack of access to property rights, finance, training, technology, markets, mentors, and networks.
Women’s Economic Empowerment
Investments to advance women’s economic opportunity include:
-03/09/15 Remarks at a Luncheon in Honor of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women-U.S. Department of State Entrepreneurship Program for Women in the Middle East; Secretary of State John Kerry; Ben Franklin Room; Washington, DC
-10/15/14 Women's Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas) [ PDF version ]
-09/23/14 Remarks at U.S. Agency for International Development's Event on "PROMOTE: Join Us to Empower Afghan Women"; Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Catherine M. Russell; New York City
-09/11/14 Along the Margins of the World Assembly for Women (WAW!); Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Catherine M. Russell; METLIFE "Shine Week Event"; Washington, DC
-07/28/14 Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Africa; Office of the Spokesperson; Washington, DC
-07/26/14 The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women Peace Through Business; Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Catherine M. Russell; Graduation Video Message; Washington, DC
-05/22/14 U.S. Statement at the High Level Policy Dialogue 2014 APEC Women and the Economy Forum; Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Catherine M. Russell; Beijing, China
-05/06/14 International Exchange Connects Women Entrepreneurs in the Americas; Office of the Spokesperson; Washington, DC
-02/20/14 Keynote Remarks at the Launch of the World Bank's Gender at Work Report; Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Catherine M. Russell; Washington, DC