How does national economic policy impact the lives of women? This question is increasingly important as states begin to recognize that no country can advance economically, without better economic conditions for half of its population: women. We know now that economic development is closely linked to the status of women. When women are outside of the labor force, when they lack education, when they have limited access to land and other
productive assets, when they cannot obtain credit or financial services, the national economic output faces severe constraints. Gender inequalities in the economic sector keep countries at low productive capacity, and hence, poor.
However, when women have the rights, resources, skills and support, they can be powerful forces of economic growth. But there must be an enabling environment in place for women to seize and exercise their rights, and this requires progressive policy, gender equal laws, and political institutions prepared to uphold mechanisms that give women equitable access to economic opportunity. National economic policy is a critical starting point, one that
sets the tone for other policies and practices that determine the degree to which women can participate in, and benefit from, a state’s economic wealth.
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