Women experience unequal treatment by economic standards, health and survival standards, education, political involvement, land rights, media representation and more.
The World Economic Forum has identified on small improvements in economic equality for women over the last nine years in their annual Global Gender Report but small gaps regarding women’s health and survival and education.
“U.N. warns that women increasingly at risk for Ebola” By Reuters
I was surprised by the fact that Iceland tops most of these rankings. The list of the top ten countries in women’s equality was surprising in many ways. Aside from the Nordic countries, there were African countries on the list as well. The site said that they were able to find a strong correlation with how competitive the nation was with the smaller the gender equality gap.1. Iceland 2. Finland 3. Norway 4. Sweden 5. Denmark 6. Nicaragua 7. Rwanda 8. Ireland 9. Philippines 10. Belgium
According to Women, environment and sustainable development: making the links, women own an extremely unequal amount of land. Lass than 10% of females who farm in India, Nepal or Thailand own their own land and only 21 percent of Mexico’s land is owned by women. This is despite policies intend to make the situation better.
The study urges people to not only develop policies, but also look at the primary reasons for lack of a more wide-spread land ownership.
In order to identify this framework, the article tells us to analyze work, divisional of labor and responsibility, access and control of resources, knowledge, status and power, culture and traditions and participation in political field.
One example of a policy solution to this issue is the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). SADC aids in developing with equity and removed gender discrimination from land ownership laws. This needs to be implemented in more places, such as Zimbabwe, where gender discrimination still exists in land ownership.
Similar to the disparity outlined in part A, economic opportunity is not as widespread for women but if accomplished, has been shown to reach to all other societal aspects.
We watched a Youtube video about the Initiative for the Economics Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs Project (IEEWEP). It talked about Chad and how it is the most difficult place to be a woman because of the constraints placed on women’s economic stability. However, since IEEWEP came to Southern Chad, women’s income has increased by an average of 75 percent through entrepreneurial activities, according to the video.
I enjoyed hearing about the program because it seemed like a sustainable and impactful initiative that created self-sufficiency rather than a dependance on aid deliveries.
Some of the challenge for women entering the work place include the perception of women being weak or having characteristics not aligned with the work of corporate offices. Another challenge is obligations at home. The women are expected to do all of the housework and if those duties are not shared, it would be very difficult for a mother of children to also take on a career.
Society sees huge gains when it is using women to their fullest economic capabilities. Aside from the studies correlating women equality to a nation’s competitiveness, referenced earlier in this blog, the International Monetary Fund also conclude a number of findings that suggest gains if women were utilized to their fullest potential. Here are five of them:
There is ample evidence that when women are able to develop their full labor marketpotential, there can be significant macroeconomic gains.
In rapidly aging economies, higher FLFP can boost growth by mitigating the impact of
a shrinking workforce.
Better opportunities for women to earn and control income could contribute to
broader economic development in developing economies, for instance through higher levels
of school enrollment for girls.
Equal access to inputs would raise the productivity of female-owned companies
The employment of women on an equal basis would allow companies to make better
use of the available talent pool, with potential growth implications
I would definitely agree that women should be utilized to a greater extent if businesses or entire nations are looking to improve their economic situation. Given societal norms, cultural barriers and other challenges, total gender economic equality is still far away but I think initiatives like IEEVEP in Southern Chad are extremely instrumental in women’s empowerment.