Everyone wins when women are in work

Women comprise just under half the world’s population and great strides have been made in advancing their rights. Yet their participation in the workforce is actually falling and their earning potential is still restricted. And this is not just a Third World problem: the West is also guilty. Enabling women to work benefits everyone

The World Today Published 1 April 2015 Updated 4 January 2021 4 minute READ

Jeni Klugman

This is the year gender equality moves up the global economic agenda. The G20 group of major economies is looking at the imbalances in work opportunities for women. This is important, because the issue is both large and urgent.

To frame the discussion it helps to highlight the most egregious gaps at work, and encapsulate the advantages of education and paying jobs for women.

But first, what does ‘gender equality in the world of work’ actually mean? Equality does not require that all women should have the same jobs as men, nor that women should not opt to stay at home to care for their children or an elderly parent.

Gender equality in the workplace does not mean that women and men should make the same choices but it does mean that they should have an equal range of choices, and equal capabilities to act on those choices.

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