Invest in women to improve economy, conference hears

Investing in the education, empowerment and health of women and girls will yield social and economic benefits, especially in developing countries, a conference in Malaysia has heard.

The 3rd Women Deliver conference, which took place in Kuala Lumpur last month (28-30 May), brought together leaders and gender experts from more than 150 countries.

“Today’s girls are tomorrow’s women — healthy and educated women who can transform the world, have healthier families and are economically more secure, thus leading to stronger communities and more prosperous countries,” said the conference’s founder and president Jill Sheffield.
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Greased by mobile money, remittances may accelerate even more



Global remittances are on the rise. Now, coupled with mobile technology, cross-border payments are even more effective at spurring poverty alleviation, but women may lag behind.

Officially recorded global remittance flows to developing countries were estimated by the World Bank to have reached $406 billion in 2012, with Kenya accounting for $1.2 billion, a 31.4 percent increase from 2011. The magnitude of money transfers into developing countries now exceeds official development aid by more than three times and counts for a large percentage of GDP in many countries. In Tajikistan, remittances account for almost 50 percent of the country’s GDP, and Liberia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Moldova, Nepal, and Samoa all have remittances that count for over 20 percent of their GDP. Read more

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Smart Economy = Laws that are Tailored to Women as much as Men

The surest way to empower women, close the gender gap, and ensure women’s participation in the development of their economy is through enabling equal job opportunities and employment for women.  Recent efforts such as the Women, Business and the Law (WBL) project show that labor laws do vary between men and women. As we will see in three studies below, the law has an incredibly significant role in understanding female employment. Read more

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7 ways to support the next wave of women-led innovation in Ethiopia

While it’s International Women’s Day tomorrow, many of us at infoDev are trying every day to make women, specifically women innovators, central to our strategy of supporting high-growth entrepreneurs in developing countries. But this is easier said than done as women are notoriously under-represented in tech-related industries and even more so in the area that I work in – clean technology – which is largely manufacturing and therefore male, dominated. Read more

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The Gender Gap in Access to Finance

International Women’s Day is when we celebrate the strides made towards equality, but it also reminds us that gender is a powerful determinant of economic opportunities, particularly in developing countries.  Financial inclusion is one of the areas where we observe a gender gap—women in developing economies are still relatively more excluded from the financial sector than men, even after controlling for income and education Read more

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Quotable: Mobile financial services won’t reach scale without women


With the right business training and equipped with a mobile phone as well as financing options, women can become financially independent and feel much safer. Mobile technology can be a vehicle for savings, insurance, payments and a way to obtain credit.”

Henriette KolbCEO, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

But, she says, it’s not enough. “Efforts need to span from improving the regulatory environment to better educating clients on their financial rights and enabling them to fully understand the choices available.” Read more

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New gender benchmarking study: Brazil succeeding in providing a positive STI environment for women

However overall numbers of women in engineering, physics and computer science are on the decline

São Paolo, March 7, 2013 – In the first gender benchmarking study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world’s leading economies, and are actually on the decline in many, including the United States. Results from Brazil show that despite women having a strong representation in parts of the science, technology and innovation sector, and a slight increase in engineering, physics and computer science, overall numbers are on the decline. Read more

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