Gender Equality Promotes Economic Development

October 21, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. hamper (v.) [ham-per] – to restrict or block the progress of somebody or something
Example: Lack of Vitamin C hampers good brain function in babies.

2. productivity (n.) [proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, prod-uhk‐] – the rate of producing goods or services
Example: The CEO believes productivity will increase if there is work focus.

3. prospects (n.) [pros-pekts]  – possibilities of succeeding in the future
Example: ABC Company offers good promotion prospects to excellent supervisors.

4. disparities (n.) [dih-spar-i-tees] – lack of equality between people or things
Example: Ms. Smith noticed the huge disparity between her total sales computations from that of the other accountant in their department.

5. prohibited (adj.) [proh-hib-ited]  – describes something that is not allowed
Example: Prohibited drugs cannot be sold in drug stores.

Read the text below.

Giving more opportunities for women to be evenly matched with men may boost economic growth, according to a recent report by World Bank.

The World Development Report 2012 stated that providing better working and livelihood conditions for women could increase productivity and expand development prospects. On the contrary, gender inequality and the lack of opportunities hamper economic growth. 

World Bank pointed out that in recent years gender gap has already decreased, specifically in education. The disparities between boys and girls attending schools have decreased, if not ended. This means that more women now have access to education.

However, in many countries, females continue to suffer discrimination in areas like health and employment. Certain jobs remain prohibited to women, while female mortality remains high in developing countries because of poor health service, diseases like AIDS, and a preference for sons.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said the Bank has been finding ways to bridge this gap. In the past five years, it has provided $65 billion to support women’s education, health and employment.

World Bank believes countries should address this problem as well for them to reap the economic benefits. Allowing women to have better opportunities would make them equal with men in terms of productivity. Eventually, this will result in a boost in the total output of each worker.

According to Justin Lin, World Bank’s chief economist, limiting opportunities for women to succeed in a globalized economy is not only wrong but also economically harmful.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Do employed women in your country occupy high positions in their companies?
·         Do you think women should be given a chance to have these positions? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Does your government provide support to women especially working mothers?
·         In your country, whose decision is usually followed in the household? Is it the father’s or the mother’s? Why do you think so?

October 21, 2011