International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
Reducing gender gaps can have important economic benefits. Gender gaps remain significant on a global scale, both with respect to opportunities and outcomes. For example, gender-based legal restrictions in many parts of the world, as well as barriers in access to education, healthcare, and financial services, prevent women from fully participating in the economy. In turn, labor force participation rates are lower among women than men. Gender equality can play an important role in promoting economic stability by boosting economic productivity and growth, enhancing economic resilience, and reducing income inequality. The Fund has begun operationalizing gender issues in its work. Staff has contributed to the economic literature through country-level and cross-country analytical studies, confirming the macro-criticality of gender issues in a broad set of circumstances. Gender issues are also increasingly becoming an integral part of capacity development though technical assistance and training. And in country work, two waves of gender pilots have been completed—encompassing both surveillance and Fund-supported programs and covering all regions of the world and all levels of income—and a third wave is under way. Coverage of gender issues in staff reports should be selective and calibrated to the degree of macroeconomic significance. All teams should consider whether gender issues are relevant, taking into account also the authorities’ priorities, but with no presumption that gender issues will be covered everywhere or every year and with in-depth coverage anticipated in only a limited number of cases any year. Staff should point to macroeconomic significance where it exists, with analysis focused on aspects with economic implications and specific policy advice limited to areas where there is Fund expertise. Where relevant, country teams should leverage external expertise. This note provides an overview of good practices and resources available to staff. The note is consistent with the 2015 Guidance Note for Surveillance Under Article IV Consultations and draws also on the 2013 Guidance Note on Jobs and Growth Issues in Surveillance and Program Work. It provides examples of good practice with respect to coverage of gender issues in country reports and lays out the resources available to country teams, both with respect to existing analytical work as well as the availability of data and tools.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The economic and social imperative for women’s economic empowerment is clear. Greater gender equality boosts economic growth and leads to better development outcomes. It contributes to reducing income inequality and boosting economic diversification and, in turn, supports economic resilience. Gender equality is one of the 17 global UN Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap for ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The G7 has emphasized the need for closing the gender gap. The Taormina Leaders’ Summit in 2017 renewed the emphasis on promoting women’s empowerment, which the leaders see as a crucial contribution to promoting sustainable development. In this regard, leaders committed to mainstreaming gender equality into all their policies. This is carried forward by Canada’s G7 Presidency. With growing recognition that gender equality promotes economic stability and growth, the IMF has scaled up its work in this area and is committed to continue these efforts. Work by the IMF will focus on (i) deepening its understanding of the economic benefits of women’s empowerment, both in the labor market and through more equal opportunities for boys and girls, also against the background of persistent megatrends, including in an environment of rapid technological change; (ii) integrating the analysis into Fund policy dialogue with member countries; (iii) providing customized assistance, workshops, and peer-learning courses in areas such as gender budgeting; and (iv) expanding collaboration with other international institutions on the subject to benefit from complementary areas of expertise.
This volume contains seven chapters that consider how fiscal policies can address women’s and girls’ disadvantages in education, health, employment, and financial well-being. Researchers from a joint collaboration between the International Monetary Fund and the UK’s Department for International Development presented papers at a 2016 international conference on gender budgeting at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, DC, and detail the findings of their work here, which draws on published materials, a questionnaire sent to ministries of finance to all International Monetary Fund member countries, and interviews with country officials and international organizations that offer technical assistance to countries seeking to implement gender budgeting. They describe key gender budgeting efforts planning, allocating, and monitoring government expenditures and taxes to address gender inequality in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Canada, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Pacific Islands and Caribbean.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper quantifies the effect of gender inequality in Morocco on growth, compared with groups of faster growing countries. The results highlight the effect of closing the overall gender gap, which would help narrow up to 1 percentage point the difference between Morocco’s GDP per capita and that of benchmark countries in other regions. Simulations also show that gradually closing gender gaps in the labor force participation rate could lead to significant income gains over the long term. Policy recommendations to promote gender equality include investing in secondary education for women and in infrastructure and reforming tax policies and laws that discriminate against women.
Gender budgeting uses fiscal policies to promote gender equality and women’s advancement, but is struggling to take hold in the Middle East and Central Asia. We provide an overview of two gender budgeting efforts in the region—Morocco and Afghanistan. Achievements in these two countries include increasing female primary and secondary education enrollment rates and reducing maternal mortality. But the region not only needs to use fiscal policies for women’s advancement, but also reform tax and financial laws, enforce laws that assure women’s safety in public, and change laws that prevent women from taking advantage of employment opportunities.