Spotlight on Liberia

Liberia's strides toward gender equality have not translated to equality in the workforce

Liberia image

Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images

The majority of Liberians work in the informal economy, and women comprise the majority of these laborers. Seventy-four percent of all female workers in Liberia are informal laborers — and 41 percent of university-educated women work informally — facing challenges such as lack of access to credit and banking services, limited financial literacy and business training, and few social protections and childcare options. The government is prioritizing the development of policies to protect female informal workers as well as enable their transition to the formal economy.

Spotlight on Japan

Japan introduces “womenomics” to counter the country's aging workforce and boost GDP

New Japan image

The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

In 2013, Japan adopted “womenomics” as a core pillar of the nation's growth strategy, recognizing the power of women's economic participation to mitigate demographic challenges that threatened the Japanese economy. Japan has seen a rise in female labor force participation, but government policies have had little immediate effect on the strong cultural pressures that dissuade many women from staying in the workforce.

Spotlight on India

India stands to benefit more from women's economic inclusion than any other nation

India image

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage

Current estimates place India's rate of female participation in the formal labor force at only 24 percent — among the lowest in developing nations. The majority of Indian women work in the informal sector in jobs with limited social protections and low wages. It is estimated that the Indian economy could grow by an additional 60 percent by 2025, adding $2.9 trillion, if women were represented in the formal economy at the same rate as men.