A report released this month by the G20 Business Summit (B20) addresses many of the pressing and longer-term challenges which have resulted from the recent financial crisis and have affected countries from all parts of the world. While world leaders are postulating solutions for the recovery of struggling economies that would create economic opportunities and development, women’s financial inclusion and increased economic participation (which would be a major driver of growth and poverty alleviation) have received little consideration and have been included as a sub-category. While it is laudable that the report specifically addresses the issues of girls and women, especially those in the developing countries, the proposed measures and policies intended to promote stability and growth throughout the world fail to highlight the major role women play in the global economy.
The importance of women’s greater involvement in business and finance as a trigger for economic progress and advancement has been recently emphasized by two reports on gender and development released by the World Economic Forum and the World Bank. Both reports conclude that women’s increased access to finance, markets, ownership of land and property, and education are among the underlying factors that would contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. Therefore, it is of great importance that political and business leaders turn their attention to the issues of women’s advancement and not only in the context of food and education. While women are closing the gender gap on health and education, a major challenge remains to take advantage of their great potential and open the way for their leadership in entrepreneurship in the economy and the decision-making structures within their countries and societies. Economic solutions which do not include half of the world’s population lack sustainability.
Stand with La Pietra Coalition and sign the petition pressing for the economic inclusion of women.