Speakers: Markus Goldstein and Agnes Quisumbing Introductory Speaker: Mayra Buvinic Presider: Isobel Coleman
Markus Goldstein from the World Bank and Agnes Quisumbing from the International Food Policy Research Institute reference years of research and field work in an exploration of what we know, and more importantly, what we don't know about what works for women's economic empowerment.
On September 24, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Equal Futures Partnership of the United States, along with twelve other founding members (Australia, Benin, Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, and Tunisia; as well as the European Union). The program seeks to break down barriers to women's political and economic participation.
Isobel Coleman writes about the mixed record that quotas for women's political participation in the Middle East have had, but notes that at least quotas ensure that women's perspectives are represented in government.
Isobel Coleman argues that the rise of Islamist groups in North Africa may threaten women's rights, but women's participation in the economy and in political movements has set them down a path that will be difficult to reverse.
Economic growth stimulated by small and medium-sized enterprises can foster stability in fragile states. Comprehensive approaches that offer entrepreneurs access to finance, markets, networks, and skills should be offered.
Populations throughout the developed world are aging and shrinking, with dire consequences. Yet decline is not inevitable. Even in the industrialized world, governments can encourage childbearing through policies that let women reconcile work and family.
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