Talk About Being Late To The Party…

Better late than never, I guess:

How long have feminists argued such a thing, which is rather obvious:

“Gender equality is shrewd economics as well as a human right, the World Bank has said in a report that showed countries with better opportunities for women and girls can boost productivity and development.

The most glaring disparity is the rate at which girls and women die relative to men in developing countries, according to The World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development.

“Blocking women and girls from getting the skills and earnings to succeed in a globalised world is not only wrong, but also economically harmful,” said Justin Yifu Lin, World Bank chief economist.

“Sharing the fruits of growth and globalisation equally between men and women is essential to meeting key development goals.”

Monday’s report cited the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s estimates that equal access to resources for female farmers could increase agricultural output in poorer countries by up to four per cent.

It also said eliminating barriers preventing women working in certain occupations would cut the productivity gap between male and female workers by a third to a half, and increase output per worker by three to 25 per cent in some countries.

“We need to achieve gender equality,” said World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

Zoellick said that over the past five years, the bank has provided funds to support girls’ education, women’s health, and women’s access to credit, land, agricultural services, jobs and infrastructure.

“This has been important work, but it has not been enough or central enough to what we do,” he said.

“Going forward, the World Bank Group will mainstream our gender work and find other ways to move the agenda forward to capture the full potential of half the world’s population.””

Specifically, the World Bank recommends:

“• addressing human capital issues, like the higher mortality of girls and women, through investment in clean water and maternal care and persistent disadvantages in education through targeted programs;

• closing the earning and productivity gaps between women and men — by improving access to productive resources; water and electricity, and childcare;

• increasing participation by women in decisions made within households and societies; and

• limiting gender inequality across generations, by investing in the health and education of adolescent boys and girls, creating opportunities to improve their lives and offering family planning information.

We have seen that focused policy attention can make a difference. Sustainable solutions are best grounded in partnerships including families, the private sector, governments, development agencies and religious and civil society groups.”

Which is all nice and everything but none of this will happen without full reproductive rights including access to safe abortions and the World Bank just tap dances around that issue without directly addressing it beyond the lame “offering family planning information.”

One thought on “Talk About Being Late To The Party…

  1. To treat women the same way one treats men is clearly conducive to a better economy, since it would bring the female half of the population into the markets and give more people skills that we need in today’s world to survive. It should be common sense that treating people as equals would improve the livelihoods of many.

    “[…] increase output per worker by three to 25 per cent in some countries.”

    This would be a much-needed boost in today’s economy, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to change entire countries. In a dominant society that treats women as lower than men, it takes a lot of work to convince the leaders to try and change the way people think. It would have to start with the younger generations, as the old ones would be more deeply rooted in the old ways of thinking. Bringing in outside help from other countries might prove necessary, as the few open-minded thinkers of the society wouldn’t be able to influence all those who have started to or have already closed their minds to equality.

    The fact that increasing the number of female in the health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, and other industries will improve the economy of the world will definitely convince many that equality is necessary for a better future. However, it may be necessary to step in and change early childhood education, as well. Many schools still separate children by gender for many activities – while the young boys are told to play soccer outside, young girls are handed skipping ropes.
    While young boys are given shorts and t-shirts for better mobility during sports, young girls are often given dresses and stockings to wear to school, which prevent them from running or jumping properly. From a young age, it’s ingrained in the subconscious mind that boys are to be more physically active. It’s an unintended side-effect, but it’s still present today and the multitude of small things such as this need to be changed before we can look at the global scale.

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