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Development, Economic Finance, Women and the Workplace

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African Views

African Views

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Gender inequality has improved over the years. However, it is still a pressing issue and affects women on a daily basis. The accessibility to economic freedom especially the equal treatment in economic terms lessens the many limitations women face.  Such limitations exist like: unequal pay, inability to purchase property, limit to education as a means to economic freedom, job opportunities, and social restrictions such as cultural traditions.  Fair pay is essential for families to thrive, especially in hard economic times. In the United States during 2009, as stated by the No Limits Foundation, 1.5 million married couples with children relied exclusively on women's earnings at some point; this represents 6.7% of all married couples with children. Additionally, 6.34 million families are headed by working single mothers.  Many times certain individuals shy away from providing equal pay because of the stereotypical perspective of a woman’s role in society. Economic freedom starts with the breaking of this mentality. Discrimination against women is practiced outside of the workplace as well as in the workplace. Even though men are not directly affected by this type of discrimination men and society as a whole face indirect repercussions for this unequal treatment.  "Gender equality is also smart economics. . . . According to a UN study, it is estimated that the Asia Pacific region is shortchanged between 42 and 47 billion dollars a year in GDP because of the untapped potential of women” as said by Ambassador Melanne Verveer.  "In countries where men and women are closer to being equal in economic participation, political empowerment, accesses to education and health survivability, these countries enjoy greater prosperity and economic growth. Simply put – no country can get ahead if half its people are left behind.

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