The global cost of sexism

A report from Booz and Company (a few months old but getting online buzz this week) attempts to quantify just how much countries could gain economically through the full employment of women. The numbers are pretty dramatic: There is compelling evidence that women can be powerful drivers of economic growth. Our own estimates indicate that ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images
Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images
Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images

A report from Booz and Company (a few months old but getting online buzz this week) attempts to quantify just how much countries could gain economically through the full employment of women. The numbers are pretty dramatic:

There is compelling evidence that women can be powerful drivers of economic growth. Our own estimates indicate that raising female employ-ment to male levels could have a direct impact on GDP of 5 percent in the United States, 9 percent in Japan, 12 percent in the United Arab Emirates,and 34 percent in Egypt; but, greater involvement from women has animpact beyond what their numbers would suggest. For example, women are more likely than men to invest a large proportion of their household income in the education of their children. As those children grow up, their improved status becomes a positive social and economic factor in their society. Thus, even small increases in the opportunities available towomen, and some release of the cultural and political constraints that hold them back, can lead to dramatic economic and social benefits.

The report also includes an index ranking countries by according to several indicators of women's economic standing from Australia (1st) to Yemen (128th).

A report from Booz and Company (a few months old but getting online buzz this week) attempts to quantify just how much countries could gain economically through the full employment of women. The numbers are pretty dramatic:

There is compelling evidence that women can be powerful drivers of economic growth. Our own estimates indicate that raising female employ-ment to male levels could have a direct impact on GDP of 5 percent in the United States, 9 percent in Japan, 12 percent in the United Arab Emirates,and 34 percent in Egypt; but, greater involvement from women has animpact beyond what their numbers would suggest. For example, women are more likely than men to invest a large proportion of their household income in the education of their children. As those children grow up, their improved status becomes a positive social and economic factor in their society. Thus, even small increases in the opportunities available towomen, and some release of the cultural and political constraints that hold them back, can lead to dramatic economic and social benefits.

The report also includes an index ranking countries by according to several indicators of women’s economic standing from Australia (1st) to Yemen (128th).

Via Tom Murphy 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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