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Holding back women hurts everyone by GAVIN MURRAY and FRANZ DREES-GROSS / The World Bank Group March 08,2013   |  Source: Solomon Star

Today is International Women’s Day, and a perfect time to reflect on why it is so important to promote gender equality in the Pacific.

In the last decade: womens voices are increasingly being heard and more women are entering the formal workforce.

And in the Pacific, political leadership has endorsed the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, signaling all-important support for change.

Nonetheless more needs to be done. Promoting gender equality is not simply an ethical move V it is an economic imperative.

Holding back women hurts the economy.

Excluding the agricultural sector, approximately twice as many men as women are in paid employment across the Pacific region.

The World Bank's flagship World Development Report on Gender found that improving job opportunities for women could increase labor productivity by as much as 18 percent.

Many Pacific women work as farmers, helping to grow, cultivate and sell crops that sustain local economies.

Yet, a lack of training and access to finance prevents many of these business women from fulfilling their potential. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, giving female farmers equal access to such resources could increase agricultural output by up to 2.5 to 4 percent, providing a huge boost to


© 2013 Solomon Star News

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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