Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Are Key to Addressing Global Poverty

Rebecca Lefton – Center for American Progress – Thursday, 14 March 2013 (originally published 11 Mar)

Faustine Janjira prepares food at her home in Zimbabwe suburb
Faustine Janjira prepares food at her home in Highfields, a high-density suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe, October 17, 2006. Janjira, who lives with her sisters and their 10 children in a two-room house, struggles to feed the big family as only one member of the family works. Image: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

President Barack Obama pledged during his January 2013 State of the Union address that the United States would join with its allies to “eradicate” extreme poverty over the “next two decades” by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women.

Putting an end to extreme poverty requires providing opportunities for all individuals, especially women, to thrive through education, nutrition, and health. In order to achieve this goal, a greater emphasis must be placed on gender equality and the removal of barriers that disproportionately affect women.

A World Economic Forum report titled, “The Global Gender Gap Report 2011,” underscored the imperative of women’s empowerment for national prosperity . . .

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