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.”