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:
-05/06/14 International Exchange Connects Women Entrepreneurs in the Americas; Office of the Spokesperson; 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
-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