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CHAPTER 1

Overview

A considerable body of international evidence now suggests that gender equality matters for economic growth and that gender inequality can exact substantial costs in terms of lost growth (Dollar and Gatti 1999; Forbes 2000; Klasen 2002; Yamarik and Ghosh 2003; Klasen and Lamanna 2008; Ellis, Manuel, and Blackden 2006; Ellis and others 2007a, 2007b). Greater gender equality is correlated not only with higher growth outcomes, but also with lower poverty rates (Morrison, Raju, and Sinha 2007), as figure 1.1 shows. The gender-growth nexus is increasingly being recognized by the private sector, too, both in terms of its own operations and as a macroeconomic relationship. According to analysis by global investment bank Goldman Sachs, closing the employment gender gap in the BRIC countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, and China) and in the “next-11,” or N-11, countries (the Arab Republic of Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam) could push per capita incomes 14 percent higher than current projections by 2020 and 20 percent higher by 2030 (Lawson 2008). As Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein stated, “We are disciplined in our investments, and when you get to the topic of trying to invest and create GDP, there is no better or more 1

Economic Opportunities for Women in the East Asia and Pacific Region  

The East Asia and Pacific region has made great progress, relative to other regions, with regard to both economic development and, specifica...