Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The missing women of the workforce

Scandalously, despite the enormous international effort that has gone into getting girls into school, women continue to face discrimination in the labour market, which seriously affects their opportunities, limits their life options and economic potential.

Since 1990, women’s participation in the labour market globally has stagnated at around 50%.While the global average masks regional and country differences (from as low as 21% in North Africa and the Middle East, to over 63% in East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific)15 the problem remains widespread: in each country and in every region, women are less likely to join the labour force than men. ActionAid has calculated that unequal participation in the labour market could be costing women in developing countries a vast sum of potential earnings that amount to over US$6 trillion. This is nearly two times the total value of the GDP for the whole of Africa and the Middle East in 2013.

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