Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls

According to the World Bank, girls in developing countries are not reaching their economic potential.

According to the World Bank, girls in developing countries are not reaching their economic potential. Excluding girls from productive employment not only exposes them to poverty, but also damages their countries' national income.

The stark figures thrown up by this World Bank report should lead policymakers to reconsider the current underinvestment in girls.

This paper is a joint product of the Children and Youth Unit, Human Development Network; and the Gender Unit, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network.

It is part of a larger effort by the World Bank to provide open access to its research and make a contribution to development policy discussions around the world.

Extract:

"Although girls are half the youth population (aged 15-24) of the developing world, little attention has been given to the specific challenges facing adolescent girls as they develop into adult members of families, the workforce, and society. General statistics and sector-specific studies point to the merits of investing in girls, including lower infant mortality, healthier families (Bicego and Boerma 1993), and greater labour market earnings, but policy often does not explicitly target development opportunities for adolescent girls. This may be due to insufficient understanding of the actual social benefits of investing in adolescent girls."

The sources for this are:

The World Bank, Human Development Network, Children and Youth Unit, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network