For all the progress women have made around the world, too many "gaps" persist -- the wage gap, poverty gap, education gap, technology gap, access-to-capital gap. By closing those gender gaps, we can increase both equity and growth -- and do it without breaking the bank.
In a world where girls can spend more time collecting firewood or water than attending school, and where women can face restrictions inheriting property or getting a loan from a bank, it's high time we get them more involved in the world economy. Removing obstacles to their participation can speed the global recovery and fight economic insecurity plaguing families around the world.
The Obama administration has put women and girls at the core of its foreign policy, extending worldwide a key focus of the president's domestic economic agenda: opportunities for women. At the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development we have launched a three-pronged Gender Action Plan involving government, businesses and families: