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An Ideal Global Symbiosis: Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development

A powerfully influential voice, that of Bill Gates, has just been added to experts endorsing the idea that women’s empowerment and economic development are correlated.

At Sweden’s Karolinska Institute on Monday, Mr. Gates suggested that “the ideal [way to advance women’s empowerment] would be if we could help countries grow their economies. Except for some Middle East countries, correlation between growth and women’s empowerment holds well.”

live mint & The Wall Street Journal  (sic), reporting on the discussion also noted that the correlation has been addressed by, among others, the International Monetary Fund in a paper that “said growth is boosted by empowering women and creating a level playing field so that more women could participate in the workforce …

“It recommended providing incentives for women to participate in the work labour force, for example, by providing equitable paternity leave and public investments in affordable child care.”

This linkage of women’s empowerment and economic development comes shortly before the April 9th/10th special event of the United Nations  Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on “The role of partnerships in the post-2015 development agenda.” Business In Society will report on the event shortly thereafter.