Home / Politics / Policy /  Growing economies linked with women’s empowerment: Gates

Countries will treat their women better if there is economic growth, Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of global health think tank Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said on Monday.

“The ideal (way) would be if we could help countries grow their economies. Except for some Middle Eastern countries, correlation between growth and women’s empowerment holds well," said Gates.

He was answering a question about how to approach empowerment of women at a panel discussion at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute on Monday.

To be sure, the correlation need not imply a focus on just growth rather than empowerment of women.

In fact, a recent International Monetary Fund discussion paper said growth is boosted by empowering women and creating a level playing field so that more women could participate in the workforce.

Gender gaps in literacy, labour force participation and wages continue to exist even in the developed world, the note argued.

It recommended providing incentives for women to participate in the labour force, for example, by providing equitable paternity leave and public investments in affordable child care.

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