On International Women’s Day we wish to celebrate women across the world, who whether in work or not, contribute in ways small and big to the global economy and creating opportunity for those around them.
Investing in women and girls provides one of the highest returns on investment, not only for the recipient but for society as a whole.
While women in employment could significantly increase global GDP, the unpaid work which is done by women out of employment, such as taking care of children, elderly relatives and performing unpaid house work should also be recognised.
The contribution of women is significant and often underestimated, however recent reports published by McKinsey and One.org shine a light onto the potential for the global economy to benefit if we invested more in educating and supporting women and girls in some of the world’s poorest regions.
We believe that this is one of our greatest duties as a company which is why we have been proud to continually create opportunities for women through our Zaggora Giving programme.
If countries increase national female participation rates to match the best in their region it could add $12tn (£9.9tn), or 11%, to the world economy by 2025, a 2016 McKinsey study found. This is a golden opportunity not to be missed. More empowered women, mean a greater pie for everyone, and there is no shorter way to this than investing in the education of women and girls. To see how we do this via our Giving programme, see here.
This year’s “Poverty is Sexist” report by One.org highlights the scale of the opportunity and ways to encourage more girls to be in schools. Here are some amazing stats. There are 130ml girls in the world, that should be in school but are not. (That’s in addition to the 500ml illiterate women globally). To count from 1 to 130 would take you 5 years.
Investing $1 in education for a girl, could bring up to $10 in future benefit for her and her family. The costs of not doing so are just too great. In many countries girls out of school will be more likely to become child brides, more vulnerable to diseases like HIV and more likely to die young. They have less control over their lives, health and choices throughout their lifetime.
For less than the cost of a loaf of bread, each day a girl in some of the world’s poorest communicates could go to school. A small investment that could have profound benefit for the world.
On this International Women’s Day, make a pledge to help a girl get an education, or help a woman start a small business.
We do this daily and it is one of the most rewarding parts of our work. Whether that’s connecting with a girl in a school near you, joining the one.org pledge to help raise awareness and support policy making or donating your time to support a girl in learning maths, science or just falling in love with school and the opportunities it can offer, it is an investment which will yield benefits, many times over.
The full one.org report is published here.
Happy International Women’s Day.