Women's Empowerment

Political and Economic Empowerment of Women

Melanne Verveer
Presentation by
Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009. She coordinated …

Although women make up half of the world’s population and contribute to a majority of production in developing countries, they generally remain excluded from formal participation in the economy. Around the world, women face barriers to entry when it comes to access to finance, training, gender biased regulation, and many other issues. Reducing these barriers and encouraging women to start and grow businesses is simply smart economics.  Any country that prevents 50% of its population from contributing to the economy will fail to realize its full potential. Furthermore, economic empowerment of women helps them to gain a political voice as well, and trends have shown that female participation in the political arena leads to better governance and a more stable environment.

Excerpted from a speech given at CIPE’s 2011 Conference “Democracy that Delivers for Women”