The Slow March to Gender Parity

Economic policymakers around the world are looking for ways to boost growth, with infrastructure investment topping most lists. But another, often-overlooked remedy is to increase the economic participation and advancement of women.

BERKELEY – Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, recently warned that the world risks a new “mediocre normal” of slower growth. She is not alone in her concern.

Economic policymakers around the world are looking for ways to boost growth, with infrastructure investment topping most lists. But, as Lagarde regularly reminds her audiences, another, often-overlooked remedy is to increase the economic participation and advancement of women.

Women account for half of the global labor supply and about 70% of the world’s consumption demand. Yet there remains a long way to go in realizing their economic potential, as the World Economic Forum’s just-released Global Gender Gap Report 2014 confirms.

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