I wrote last week that with an Administration and Congress both prioritizing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, now was a good time to put in place legislation that would leverage the power of US-based multinational enterprises to encourage gender equality in the workplace in countries that legally enforced discrimination. A recent case of US-based multinational enterprises abetting discrimination suggests an extension to the law, and the creation of the new US Development Finance Corporation provides a new tool for the legislation to use.
CGD Policy Blogs
Today, the Trump administration rolled out the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). Pillars one and two seem to suggest a rebranding of existing funding for women’s economic empowerment efforts in USAID and a repackaging of previously announced initiatives at the World Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation. But the third pillar is potentially more encouraging.
Earlier this month, a bipartisan bill became law that could fundamentally change how the United States’ primary aid agency engages on women’s economic issues.
Now that JB is back home, what next? She’s running again as the only woman among five major presidential candidates in the May 2019 elections.
The broad scope of the Sustainable Development Goals acknowledges that human development is multifaceted and that gender equality is crosscutting.
In the drive to measure these concepts and gauge progress, there has been a proliferation of indices in recent years. The allure of indices is twofold: they reduce complex concepts and multiple indicators into one number, and this number can be used to rank countries and, so the theory goes, drive change. In one fell swoop then, indices seem to bring simplicity, order, and transformative potential.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said gender equality at the United Nations is “an urgent need – and a personal priority. It is a moral duty and an operational necessity.” Guterres was quick to meet his goal of gender parity in UN senior management. But 18 years past an initial 2000 target date for gender parity in the UN system as a whole, there is still a long way to go. The organization remains off track to meet the new target for parity at all levels by 2030. There is also evidence that the rate of change will be hard to boost without a new approach.
The Women, Business and the Law program at the World Bank has done a wonderful job of cataloguing the thousands of legal restrictions worldwide that constrain women’s abilities to be equal participants in the economy—from legislation mandating women ask a male family member for permission before opening a bank account through rules banning women from certain jobs to unequal property rights. Pairing that data with surveyed outcomes would make it an even more powerful tool.
Why should countries invest in human capital? As emerging technologies impact economies and societies, how can we ensure that the most vulnerable are protected? Who will step up to finance the SDGs? Next week’s Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF will convene 13,000 global policymakers, private sector executives, academics, and civil society members in Bali, Indonesia as they work to address these questions and more.
We know that technology—especially emerging technology on decentralized ID—has a huge potential in combating both these issues. We also know that technology has a huge gender problem worldwide.
Time to Deliver: New Ebola Findings Highlight the Need to Improve Evidence and Interventions for Pregnant Women
On July 23, an outbreak report in The Lancet Infectious Diseases documented the case of a female Ebola survivor who transmitted the virus to family members more than year later. This raises new questions about how pregnancy may impact the presentation of Ebola virus disease (EVD), not just for women in the near term but across multiple pregnancies, and potentially as the source of new outbreaks.