Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer
today said women’s economic participation contributes to economic growth.
At the AGOA Ministerial, Ms. Verveer AGOA Ministerial serves to highlight the importance of the American-African relationship.
“Through AGOA over the past 11 years, we have strengthened our ties, increased our trade, and created economic opportunities for our people. I was serving in the White House when President Clinton signed AGOA in 2000, and it has had strong support in both the U.S. and in Africa ever since.”-Ms. Verveer
According to Ms. Verveer, when she travels to Africa, she is always reminded just how rich the Continent is in its beauty and resources-the greatest of which is its people. She stressed that Africa’s biggest underutilized resource is in fact, the most untapped resource the world over-is women. She said it is especially true when it comes to economic growth.
“When we fail to tap the potential of women, we not only shortchange them but shortchange our economies and prosperity.”-Ms. Verveer
According to Ms. Verveer, the World Economic Forum releases an annual Gender Gap Report, which measures the equality of men and women in four areas: access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation.
Ms. Verveer underscored that World Bank research shows that gender inequality limits economic growth. When gender-based barriers are removed, economies can better flourish. She further said this is why the World Bank has a focus on gender equality as smart economics.
“Furthermore, Goldman Sachs has produced seminal research that shows women-run small and medium-sized businesses are growth accelerators: if we want to grow GDP, they are a high-yield investment.”-Ms. Verveer