According to the World Economic Forum’s report on Global Gender Gap (2022), it will take more than 100 years to close the global gender gap.
All over the world, women are paid less than men for doing the same jobs; girls receive less schooling than boys of the same age; females have fewer leadership and professional roles than males. Based on the analysis of the World Bank, if women are given the same opportunities as men, the world economy can grow by $28 trillion dollars. Solving the challenges women face in getting their fair share of opportunities may just provide the best return on investment in any country!
Meanwhile, many traditions expect and place a high value on women to be the primary domestic caregivers to children and the elderly (over 70% of unpaid caregiving hours are performed by women as reported by the World Economic Forum). How do we balance this essential need as the bedrock of a harmonious society while addressing the gender gap so that the entire humanity can benefit? What are the root causes of gender inequality in different parts of the world and what can be done about them?
In just a few weeks, the Women and the Economy Online Forum will empower teens to examine the underlying issues around gender-based economic inequality and its impact on society. Each team will review women-owned business opportunities in their assigned country on KIVA and decide which one has the best chance of return on investment. A BWB microloan will be donated to the winning team's choice.
Application closes on March 10th. We look forward to working with student leaders around the world to dig into why and how to invest in women, while understanding and appreciating their cultural and traditional norms.
(credit: KIVA.org. A BWB microloan will be donated to the winning team's choice of lender.)