Report

Empowering the third billion: women and the world of work in 2012

17 Oct 2012
Description

This report ranks 128 countries based on their track record in enabling women to play a substantial role in the global economy.
Countries that take steps to empower women as employees and entrepreneurs can reap social and economic benefits.
Nearly 1 billion women around the world could enter the global economy during the coming decade. They are poised to play a significant role in countries around the world—as significant as that of the billion-plus populations of India and China. Yet this Third Billion has not received sufficient attention from governments, business leaders, or other key decision makers in many countries. There is compelling evidence that women can be powerful drivers of economic growth.
Our own estimates indicate that raising female employment to male levels could have a direct impact on GDP of 5 percent in the United States, 9 percent in Japan, 12 percent in the United Arab Emirates, and 34 percent in Egypt; but, greater involvement from women has an impact beyond what their numbers would suggest. For example, women are more likely than men to invest a large proportion of their household income in the education of their children. As those children grow up, their improved status becomes a positive social and economic factor in their society.
Thus, even small increases in the opportunities available to women, and some release of the cultural and political constraints that hold them back, can lead to dramatic economic and social benefits.

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2012
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