CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE AND PRAGMATIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (CIPDI) recognizes the critical role of women’s economic empowerment in achieving prosperity and peace, “Societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful.” Women make up half the human population — and can act as key drivers of global growth and national security. We believe that investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment can help eradicate extreme poverty, build vibrant economies, and unlock human potential on a transformational scale.
$12 trillion by 2025 → If the same number of women as men participated in the global economy, global GDP would grow by $12 trillion by 2025.
$18 billion in 144 developing countries → Providing online and mobile access to 600 million women could contribute $18 billion to GDP growth in 144 developing countries.
An 18% better bet → Women are 18 percent more likely than men to pay back small business loans.
ADDRESSING THE ISSUES
Workforce development and skills training for women and girls help pave the way for economic empowerment. CIPDI will continue to improve women’s and girls’ access to quality education and training — including training with educational opportunities closely linked with employer needs. These can lead to higher-paying, middle-skill jobs including high -growth, in-demand occupations — such as those jobs in the STEM fields.
ENCOURAGE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS: Women entrepreneurs are an emerging world-wide market force and an important source of innovation and job creation. However, they often do not have equal access to the capital and business networks they need to sustain and expand their businesses. We must do more to continue funding efforts to support women who want to start and scale up their businesses, which creates prosperity and stability for their families and communities.
WE MUST LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD: Women’s economic empowerment also involves changes to laws, policies, practices and norms that have historically limited women’s potential. We must continue to identify and reduce policy, legal and regulatory barriers to women’s participation in the economy, and promote improved practices that increase women’s economic empowerment.
More than half a billion women have joined the workforce over the past 30 years. Women also make up 40% of the agriculture labor force. And nearly 600 million girls are growing up in the developing world. These are big numbers that prove women are a powerful force for change. According to the World Bank, countries with greater gender equality are more prosperous and competitive.
Progress cannot be made if half a country’s talents are never developed or utilized. For societies to thrive, women and girls must have access to education, healthcare and technology. They must have control of resources, land and markets. And they must have equal rights and equal opportunities. Closing these gaps can unlock human potential on a transformational scale. Technology offers a lifeline to critical health services and opportunities for education, civic participation, entrepreneurship, and access to financing that were once out of reach for many women.