The geography of gender: where women work, economies grow

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Women from a single mothers’ association sweep rice at their processing plant in the town of Bolgatanga, Ghana.

Our world is full of brilliant possibilities. But they’re not always open to everyone. The opportunities for women to contribute to the global economy are intrinsically linked to where in the world they are born and reach adulthood. So long as global disparities exist in education and opportunity – as the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report reaffirms this week – this will always remain the case. This holds us all back. Yet, the business community can, and must, help tackle this divide.

The geography of gender is challenging and complex. The latest Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), for example, highlights the significance of geography in female entrepreneurship. Unsurprisingly, MIWE showed that higher-income, advanced economies, with open and vibrant markets that support SMEs and the ease of doing business provide highly conducive and enabling conditions to support female business owners.

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