During International Development Week 2012, Canadian organizations across the country promoted the empowerment of women and girls, with a specific focus on sustainable economic growth.
Empowerment is about people—both women and men—taking control over their lives: setting their own agendas, gaining skills, building self-confidence, solving problems, and developing self-reliance. It is not only a collective, social, and political process, but an individual one as well—and it is not only a process but an outcome too.
Source: CIDA's Policy on Gender Equality
According to the World Bank's 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development, gender equality is not only a core development objective but also smart economics.
With targeted investments toward gender equality, the World Bank argues that there will be better development outcomes for future generations and that institutions will be more representative.
An important strategy for closing the inequalities between women and men is to invest in the empowerment of women and girls. When women have greater control over household resources, there is greater investment in the well-being of children and positive effects on economic growth.
Also, when women are more empowered, they become agents of change, making decisions that positively shape their communities.
Equality between women and men can only be achieved in partnership with men and boys. When both women and men work together to advance gender equality, they build a more equal and secure world.
Empowering women and girls is one way the Government of Canada aims to bridge the gap between women and men.
Equality between women and men is a crosscutting theme that is integrated into all of Canada's development assistance programs.
Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative.
Closing the gender gap in agriculture would increase food production and could lift 100-150 million people out of hunger.
Source: The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011 Women in Agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development
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