Is A Nation’s Prosperity Linked To Its Treatment Of Women?

Most underdeveloped nations have a few things in common: corrupt governments, poor economies, poverty and interestingly enough, the unfair or ill treatment of women. Research has heavily indicated that countries which enforce laws that do not disadvantage its women, tend to prosper. Similarly countries where women are given equal rights and are encouraged to work, benefit more economically. 

Equal Rights

Equal rights for both women and men is crucial to the advancement and development of societies around the world. In countries where women are disadvantaged by the law, there are higher chances of conflict and instability. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region face major inequalities in legislation, primarily partial to the male gender – as compared to Belgium or Sweden for example. In comparison, the majority of countries with unequal gender-based rights tend to be of poorer economic status, such as those within the MENA region. Further, according to UN Women, more than 2.7 billion women around the world are legally denied the same choice of occupation as men, what is even more astounding is the fact that 18 economies allow men to stop their wives from working. By allowing women the rights to work and equal rights in all other such matters, countries are given the chance for further development and the potential for stronger livelihood of its people. 

Women in the Workforce

Empowering women begins with their education. Unfortunately many underdeveloped countries such as Pakistan itself, suffer from a devastating lack of women in education and consequently a lack in their labour force participation. Patriarchal societies enforce damaging stereotypes generation after generation, encouraging education and employment for men and the opposite for their female counterparts. According to UN Women “when more women work, economies grow”.  When we empower women, countries benefit from increased productivity and income equality whereas in countries where women are suppressed, progression is hindered. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is prided for her efforts in making Germany an economic powerhouse. As indicated by the Financial Times Germany’s female labour force participation rate is now the highest among all G7 countries (Germany, Canada, UK, Japan, France, US and Italy), placing Germans at the top in terms of real GDP per capita. Encouraging education for women early on and allowing them to develop the necessary skills to enter the workforce can positively benefit a country’s economic growth and wellbeing. 

All in all it is evident that when women are granted equal rights and access to both education and jobs, those nations benefit far more than countries still holding their women back.

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