May 18, 2016 - 5:33pm
The global leaders, on the second day of the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, have stressed on investing in solutions that advance the health, rights and well-being of girls and women for economic growth and development.
They pointed out that when girls and women are given equal opportunities – whether in education, family planning, innovation or sport– societies are “healthier, more productive and more stable”.
“Investing in gender equality – and in girls’ and women’s health –is investing in human progress,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver, at a press briefing on Tuesday.
The global advocacy organisation has launched a new advocacy platform that promotes “12 critical investments” in girls and women: ‘Deliver for Good’.
“It will bring together diverse organisations to show how a simple focus on investment in girls and women can be transformative for global development,” said Iversen.
“Investing in girls and women unlocks untapped potential, and creates a ripple effect that benefits families, communities and entire nations,” she said.
At least 5,500 people including world leaders, advocates, policymakers, journalists, youths, and civil society of over 160 countries have convened at the largest ever global meet focusing on health, rights, and the well-being of girls and women.
Having started on Monday, this four-day conference is one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in January.
By adopting the SDGs the world has agreed to achieve gender equality by 2030.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced $80 million funding over the next three years 'to close gender data gaps' and help accelerate progress for women and girls around the world.
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) in a paper provides an agenda for action and investment toward gender equality, showing the rippling effect that these investments have on society and the world.
It released a paper titled ‘Delivering the power of parity: Toward a more gender-equal society’ on Tuesday at a press briefing in the conference.
MGI finds that achieving the economic potential of women and making progress toward the UN’s recently-adopted SDGs will require $1.5 trillion-$2 trillion in annual spending on essential services in 2025—but the potential economic gains could be six to eight times this outlay.
“Narrowing the gender gap can unleash massive growth,” Managing Partner of McKinsey's United Kingdom and Ireland offices, Vivian Hunt, said.
“But in order to realise the $12 trillion opportunity that comes from advancing gender equality in the world of work, we have to tackle gender gaps in society more broadly,” she said.
“Our new analysis finds that the economic benefits of narrowing gender gaps far outweigh the additional social spending required”.
Bangladesh State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan, who is leading a Bangladesh delegation, said the country has done “quite well” over last few years in terms of women’s empowerment, mostly in the education and health sectors.
After attending a session for ministers, he told a group of Bangladeshi journalists that the government would allocate more budgets in those sectors in the coming days.