Why Gender Equality Leads to Sustainable Economic Growth

Posted December 15, 2021

Eliminating violence against women and girls requires adequate and sustainable funding. Only by ending gender-based violence and empowering women the countries can end poverty; gender equality is a factor for development.

Back in 2015, all countries made a commitment to achieving gender equality through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes the elimination of gender-based violence and discrimination in all its forms. Member States reaffirmed that achieving gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and the full realization of their human rights are essential to achieving inclusive economic growth.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, donor countries pledged to significantly increase investment to close the gender gap. In 2018-2019, $53 billion in bilateral assistance was directed towards gender equality.

In addition, each of the 30 member states of the OECD Development Assistance Committee allocated an average of US $522 million per year to end violence against women and girls in developing countries. Most of this amount - US $317 million - was channeled through multilateral organizations. The European Union, Canada and Sweden have provided the greatest assistance in eliminating violence against women.

Gender commitments are reflected in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which first introduced Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) to support closer alignment of funding from all sources with national sustainable development goals. Starting in 2020, the government of Kyrgyzstan, together with UNDP and UNICEF, began to develop an INFF. Mainstreaming gender equality can not only increase domestic resources to address these issues, but also mobilize international assistance.

In Kyrgyzstan, 50.4% (3.3 million people) of the population are women. The employment rate of women of working age is only 48%. An increase in the number of women in the labor force can also contribute to an increase in the gross domestic product of the national economy, thereby contributing to an increase in the well-being of all citizens of Kyrgyzstan.

Bridging the gap between the economic participation of women and men stimulates entrepreneurship and economic growth and improves the lives of families and communities. Therefore, financing for gender equality is more properly viewed as an investment that will generate future income streams through beneficial developmental impacts.