Monday, June 24, 2013

Reviewing Gender Equality

Women’s issues take centre stage in the latest issue of the IMF’s Finance and Development magazine (excerpt):

Women at Work
FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT, June 2013, Vol. 50, No. 2

Reductions in gender disparity don’t translate to equal opportunity

One of the most dramatic developments in the 20th century was the entry of women into economic and political spheres previously occupied almost exclusively by men. Although women are making progress in eliminating gender disparities, they still lag men in the workplace and in the halls of government. These gaps are found throughout the world, but are particularly pronounced in developing economies. So far, the greatest success has been in reducing education and health disparities and the least in increasing women’s economic and political influence. Renowned scholars, leading institutions, global businesses, and a growing range of nongovernmental organizations stress the benefits of further reducing gender inequality to allow women to realize their full potential in economic activities and in civic life.­

This issue of F&D examines women at work. It analyzes various aspects of women’s work experience—the gains that women have made in equalizing job opportunities and leadership roles and the challenges they still face to achieve genuine equality...

...These articles suggest that women are making progress in closing gender gaps in the economic and political spheres but that they are still far from achieving equity. These studies provide guidance for the design of policies to tap the full potential of women.

You can access the table of contents here.

Personally, I found the article on women economists the most interesting – a study of economist attitudes found that women tended to favour government intervention more than men do, especially on social issues. That leads to some interesting speculation – would overall policy direction and economic philosophies change when more women economists come into positions of influence?

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