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Post-2015 Consensus: Gender Equality Viewpoint, Almas

Jiwani is very supportive of the Copenhagen Consensus efforts, and also supports the three pre-conditions identified in the paper as enablers of women’s economic empowerment. Such empowerment is not only a benefit to women, but to all of society, which is able to harness the latent economic productivity and innovation of almost half of the population.

The first of the recommended targets – increase in women’s political representation – is, however, a broad and ambiguous objective. It does not take into account that women’s political representation, influence and participation can also happen outside of the institutionalized halls of power. The target would benefit from more specificity and the rationale must be more robust than ‘fairness’.

The second target, ‘working conditions and labour force participation’ appears to be relatively more feasible. However, women already constitute a sizeable proportion of the labour force; the challenge is also to integrate women from the informal economy into the formal economy, and to move women’s participation up the economic value chain.