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Labor, Economics, and Trade

The health and education levels of women and girls in developing countries have improved over the past few decades - in many cases they are closing gender gaps. However, no such progress has been made in regards to economic opportunity. Women continue to trail men in terms of formal labor force participation rates, access to credit, entrepreneurship, wages, and inheritance and ownership rights. Labor force participation rates for rural females are much lower than those of rural men or urban females. Rural women tend to be entirely responsible for domestic work, and this, coupled with high fertility rates, often preclude rural women's engagement in income-earning activities. Women's seclusion from the public arena, higher poverty levels, and lack of mobility, limits their access to labor markets in many ways. Women usually have less information about prices, rules, and rights to basic services. Under-investing in women limits development and slows down poverty reduction and economic growth. ICTs are one potential way to increase the volume and success of female enterprises and facilitate the participation of poor women in the ICT-driven information economy.

Best Practice Examples

Chile: Increasing Women's Labor Force Participation in Chile II
Mexico: Gender Equity Project- Generosidad

Other Useful Links

World Bank's Gender Action Plan
IFC's Women in Business Program
World Bank's Key Gender Employment Indicators
World Bank's Gender and Economics website
World Bank's Economy of Care Research Program
World Bank's Firm Certification Models on Gender Equality for the Private Sector website
World Bank's The Economic of Gender in Mexico: Family, Work, State and Market report
World Bank's Poverty in LAC website
World Bank's Poverty Reduction & Equity website
WB/IFC's Enterprise Surveys, Gender
EIU's Women's Economic Opportunity Index

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