The world has gradually realized the importance of the economic participation of women. Policymakers around the world have been making significant changes to increase the role of women in economic participation and growth. Ambitious approaches are being taken to empower and strengthen women.
Moreover, The World Bank has partnered with 14 governments to generate over a billion dollars in financing for women-owned businesses in developing countries. This has been possible through the women entrepreneurs financing initiative.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) May 2018 report ‘Pursuing Women’s Economic Empowerment’, greater gender equality boosts economic growth. “It leads to better development outcomes, contributes to reducing income inequality”, says IMF. Research shows that greater gender equality boosts economic diversification and this, in turn, supports economic resilience.
The report states that “important repercussion of persistent gender gaps is that the potential economic contribution from women remains untapped in many countries.” The World Bank has also set up initiatives and strategies to help countries remove barriers to women’s ownership and control of productive assets such as land and housing.
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The World Bank’s Annual 2018 Report, ‘Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Program’ highlights the Ethiopia initiative. The organization is using modern technologies including psychometric testing and data-driven algorithms to unlock access to formal finance for women business owners.
Another good initiative is the “IDA-financed Bihar Transformative Development Project, the second phase of rural livelihoods support in one of India’s poorest states, fosters the development of women’s self-help groups which serve as an important platform for amplifying women’s voice.”
Women, being brought to the forefront of economies, are part of the UN sustainable development goals (SDG). Women’s participation and gender equality are essential for positive economic growth.