Investing in women will provide global benefits

At the spring meetings of the world Bank Group and the International monetary Fund, held last week in Washington, the Central theme was the question of how to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth. But while world leaders are trying to revive the world economy, a significant element in the formula for growth and stability to be underrated: namely, the economic empowerment of women.

Only 55% of women in the paid labour force worldwide, continuing to remain unused source of growth. It is a priceless and proven profitable asset, which we, however, do not invest resources to unlock the full potential of women. There is strong evidence that if you promote women’s economic activities, it will bring huge profits to the families, society and economies as a whole.

Research Group, world Bank, IMF, and OECD, as well as private studies show that we can recharge the global economy billions by creating favourable conditions and increasing the level of involvement of women in the world of paid employment, ownership of business, as well as increasing the efficiency of their work. All this will contribute to the growth of national economies and competitiveness of countries. The elimination of gender gaps makes sense as at the macroeconomic level and at the level of individual companies. Studies show a correlation between the number of women in governance and higher corporate earnings.

In addition to economic benefits, studies show that women tend to devote a larger portion of their income on food, health care and education — in short, that benefits their children and has a multiplicative effect on generations to come.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of investment in women entrepreneurs and working women, progress in this area has stalled. In the Report on the global gender gap the International economic forum 2016 it is estimated that the achievement of economic parity between the sexes can take 170 years. This is unacceptable.

Research Group of the world Bank show that businesses owned by women accounted for only 38% of formal small and medium enterprises in emerging markets. Among women who started their business, only 10% are able to obtain capital needed for growth.

From a global perspective, women entrepreneurs are more oppressed legislation limiting women’s economic opportunities. They do not allow them to master certain professions, travel, infringe their right to inherit or own land. Businesses owned by women, are in a narrower range of sectors, mainly with lower profits and export potential.

This week German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling for action, the summit of W20 (the”Women’s summit”) in Berlin, focusing on the support of the economic empowerment of women as an integral part of the agenda of the “Big twenty”.

We know that it will work. Need to increase access to Finance, to reallocate social work to contribute to progress in the field of financial inclusion and to offer programmes to train women entrepreneurs and help them with access to markets of higher value. We need to develop a new legal framework conducive to the development and growth of productivity of women. Proper training will increase the ability of women to conduct their own business. The opportunity to have a mentor and access networks will allow to learn and to buy when capital and markets.

Groups such as W20, World economic forum, the world Bank and the high-level Panel of the UN, has played an important role in strengthening the arguments in favor of investing in women and found effective solutions. Political leaders, managers, economists and scientists all agree that one of the most effective ways to promote the growth of the global economy is an extension of the role of women in business.

Our task now is collaboration in the public and private sectors to strongly promote investment in women around the world.

The authors of the article — the first daughter of the U.S. President and the President of the world Bank Group.