2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development


Today during the 37th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy the “2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development” key findings were presented and followed by an open debate with a Q&A. The authors of the Report use a conceptual framework to examine progress to date, and then recommend policy actions. The Report finds that the lives of girls and women around the world have improved radically over the past quarter century, but gaps remain in many areas. The pace of change has been astonishing in some areas, but in others, progress toward gender equality has been limited — even in developed countries. Improvements in women’s education and health have been linked to better outcomes for their children in mountainous countries such as Nepal and Pakistan. In India giving power to women at the local level has led to increases in the provision of public goods, such as water and sanitation. Reduction in fertility in developing mountainous countries such as Bangladesh, Colombia and the Islamic Republic of Iran contributed to the increase of women participation in paid works. This year's Report argues that gender equality is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative. The Report also focuses on four priority areas for policy going forward: (i) reducing excess female mortality and closing education gaps where they remain, (ii) improving access to economic opportunities for women (iii) increasing women's voice and agency in the household and in society and (iv) limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations. The full report and related materials are available online.

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