If you need another reason to believe in the cause of gender equality, try 12 trillion reasons.
Twelve trillion dollars is the size of the economic opportunity in increased equality of the sexes, according to a new report from McKinsey consultants. Never mind the moral reasons for advancing women’s rights, there’s an overwhelming economic case for enabling women to participate more equally in economy and society.
McKinsey says economic output would increase by $12 trillion if all countries raised their level of equality to the best-performing country in their region. If men and women were entirely equal worldwide, a somewhat distant prospect–the opportunity would be as great as $28 trillion by 2025, or a whopping 26% of total global GDP.
McKinsey scores 95 countries across 15 indicators of gender equality, including education, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, political representation, legal protection, wages, and discrimination laws. North America, Oceania, and Western Europe end up with the highest “gender parity scores,” and the Middle East and South Asia, including India, the lowest.
McKinsey identifies 10 “impact zones” around the world that have the greatest concentrations of inequality and therefore the greatest potential for female advancement. These include Sub-Saharan Africa, where women are held back by low maternal and reproductive health, unequal education levels, and financial inclusion, and South Asia, where child marriage is still common, and girls are more vulnerable than boys.
McKinsey says: “Our hope is that this analysis can point the way toward effective interventions and lead to new regional and global coalitions of policy makers and private-sector leaders.”
See more here.