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The Economic Solution to the Triple Threat of Being Born a Girl

Raghu Raman, in the Wall Street Journal,writes about the threefold downside of being born a girl in a developing country.

  • Girls are often denied the equal chance to be born and then face greater threats of undernourishment and neglect
  • Girls are given less opportunity to go to and to stay in school
  • If a girl has the chance of school, she likely will not be equally valued in the workplace, denying her the same economic opportunities a man has.

Raman has an idea of how this can be overcome-

“The only meaningful and long-term way to empower women is economic empowerment. Simply put, more wealth needs to be put into the hands of women by making strategic long-term structural changes in addition to immediate tactical ones. Studies prove that societies where gender diversity is equitable are not only safer, but economically vibrant. States with higher ratio of educated working women fare significantly better in all parameters.”

The article talks about the push we have for girls to be educated and enter the economy, but there is often not the pull of workplaces welcoming women, creating a safe environment or providing accommodations that are sometimes needed for family life- such as leave if there is a sick child.  When these factors are not initially in place, it is then seen as a burden on the company if they need to do things such as file reports of violence, provide security or adjust someone’s hours.

Raman recommends creating an environment where companies incentivized to include women in the workplace and when a company does hire women, that it is seen as a positive thing in the community.  You can read Raman’s complete article here. 

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