Activists participate in a demonstration for women's rights in Berlin Adam Berry/Getty Images

It’s Time to Let Women Thrive

At the start of 2018, the #MeToo movement has given global efforts to empower women new momentum, and provided an opportunity for governments to take concrete steps to boost female workforce participation. In fact, that, as much as anything else, may be what is needed to sustain today's global economic recovery.

DAVOS – In public debates around the world, women’s empowerment is increasingly being recognized as a top priority. The question of how to provide more economic opportunities for women is firmly on the agenda at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this year. And longtime advocates for women are feeling energized, as countless others – men and women alike – have come to recognize the urgency of the task.

Affording women and girls the opportunity to succeed is not just the right thing to do; it can also transform societies and economies for the good of all. For example, bringing women’s labor force participation up to the same level as that of men would boost GDP by as much as 9% in Japan and 27% in India.

The International Monetary Fund has documented many other macroeconomic benefits associated with women’s empowerment. Reducing gender gaps in employment and education has been shown to help economies diversify their exports. Appointing more women to banking-supervision boards can prevent cozy groupthink, thereby ensuring greater stability and resilience in the financial sector. And reducing gender inequalities also reduces income inequality, allowing for more sustainable growth.