Expanding women’ s economic opportunities is critical for meeting the obligations laid out in major human rights conventions and for enhancing countries’ development prospects and eliminating poverty. Realising the potential of all people contributes to productivity and a more resilient society. This matters at the national, community, family and individual levels. As a recent qualitative study of women and men in 20 countries across the world concludes, “women’s ability to work for pay... may be one of the most visible and game-changing events in the life of modern households and all communities.
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Gender at Work in Africa: Legal Constraints and Opportunities for Reform”. Oxford Human Rights Hub 3 (2015). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract. “
Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank Open Knowledge Repository, 2014. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract.
The 2012 report recognized that expanding women's agency - their ability to make decisions and take advantage of opportunities is key to improving their lives as well as the world. This report represents a major advance in global knowledge on this critical front. The vast data and thousands of surveys distilled in this report cast important light on the nature of constraints women and girls continue to face globally. This report identifies promising opportunities and entry points for lasting transformation, such as interventions that reach across sectors and include life-skills training, sexual and reproductive health education, conditional cash transfers, and mentoring. It finds that addressing what the World Health Organization has identified as an epidemic of violence against women means sharply scaling up engagement with men and boys. The report also underlines the vital role information and communication technologies can play in amplifying women's voices, expanding their economic and learning opportunities, and broadening their views and aspirations. The World Bank Group's twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity demand no less than the full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys, around the world.
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