Gender Parity and Economic Performance

Whether women have the same opportunities as men to participate and advance in labor markets is a fundamental question for economic growth. Unfortunately, despite considerable gains in many countries, labor markets around the world remain divided along gender lines, with progress toward parity having stalled.

BERKELEY – For the first time in its history, a woman is in charge at the International Monetary Fund. And, under Managing Director Christine Lagarde's leadership, the Fund is “mainstreaming" gender parity as a driver of economic performance.

Women's rights have long been recognized – though all too often not respected – as human rights. But the view that women's rights are a key determinant of national economic prosperity is relatively new – and supported by a growing body of research by the IMF, other international organizations, and scholars around the world.

As Lagarde wrote recently, whether women have the same opportunities as men to participate and advance in labor markets is a fundamental question for economic growth. Unfortunately, despite considerable gains in many countries, labor markets around the world remain divided along gender lines, with progress toward parity having stalled.

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