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|Development in practice: Toward Gender Equality|
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Other Recent Development in Practice Books
Priorities and Strategies for Education: A World Bank Review (also available in French and Spanish)
Better Urban Services: Finding the Right Incentives (also available in French and Spanish)
Strengthening the Effectiveness of Aid: Lessons for Donors
Enriching Lives: Overcoming Vitamin and Mineral Malnutrition in Developing Countries (also available in French and Spanish)
A New Agenda for Women's Health and Nutrition (also available in French)
Population and Development: Implications for the World Bank
East Asia's Trade and Investment: Regional and Global Gains from Liberalization
Governance: The World Bank's Experience
Higher Education: The Lessons of Experience (also available in French and Spanish)
Better Health in Africa: Experience and Lessons Learned (also available in French)
Argentina's Privatization Program: Experience, Issues, and Lessons Sustaining Rapid Development in East Asia and the Pacific
THE WORLD BANK A partner in strengthening economies and expanding markets to improve the quality of life for people everywhere, especially the poorest
Gender equality is not only a matter of social justice but also good economics. It is of foremost importance to women's wellbeing and development. Discrimination means losses in productivity and lower welfare of women, their families, and society at large.
Although the gender gap is narrowing in education, health, and many other areas, women are still less educated than men, work more hours, and are paid less. The reasons why gender disparities persist are complex, having to do with social and institutional norms, relationships within households, and even lack of information about the benefits of educating and employing women. Despite the weight of social and cultural factors, public policy can influence women's status and well-being. Governments have a leading role in widening the opportunities available to women and extending the services that are vitally important to them.
This report outlines what governments and development agencies can do to work toward greater gender equality- one of the best investments a society can make. Public policy can affect investments in health, education, and infrastructure through laws and regulations. It can also affect land ownership, financial services, and access to employment. Not least important, public policies can affect macroeconomic performance and create a favorable climate for economic development.