World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has appreciated Bangladesh’s role in empowering women, saying it demonstrates investment in women can be one of the most effective pro-growth strategies by any government.
“Countries such as Bangladesh are encouraging female participation in the workforce. If they stay on track, their female workforce will grow from 34 to 82 percent (percentage of females in employment) over the next decade, adding 1.8 percent to their GDP,” he said.
He was addressing the World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings, in Lima, Peru on Friday, according to a copy of his speech available on WB website.
“Countries should invest in women, which can be one of the most effective pro-growth strategies by any government,” said the WB Chief.
Earlier this year, Bangladesh won the Women in Parliaments Global Forum award, known as the WIP award, as a pioneering country in reducing gender discrimination.
WIP Awards were granted to countries recognised for their political empowerment of women, and to countries which show regional leadership in closing the gender gap in politics - namely Sweden, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and Kenya.
Jim Yong Kim, in his speech, also said, closing the gender gap can raise incomes by 27 percent in the Middle East and North Africa, 19 percent in South Asia, and 14 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. And research confirms something we all know - when women earn more money, they invest in their families’ education and health.
“Government officials also must root out corruption wherever it exists, and promote transparency in official business that can prevent future corruption. Every stolen dollar, euro, or sole robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life,” he added.