We love local. Whether it’s buying vegetables directly from your local farmer, frequenting a neighborhood business, or working as a community activist, many of us believe that solutions to some of our most pressing problems lie at least in part in a small series of actions taken from the ground up. This may be especially true in countries with limited state capacity, where community-based organizations (CBOs) are often among the highest-functioning entities at the local level. In some settings, producer cooperatives or savings and credit groups, for example, have stronger financial management capacity than local governments. Parent-teacher organizations, women’s associations, hometown associations, or other membership-based groups can be highly effective community mobilizers.
This blog is part of a series examining women’s economic empowerment in South Asia. Starting today on International Women's Day and over the next few weeks, we will be exploring successful interventions, research, and experience to improve gender equality across the region.
Meet Fazeela Dharmaratne from Sri Lanka.
Her story, like that of millions of other women in South Asia, is one of struggle between family and work and a story worth telling as we mark International Women’s Day.
Unlike too many of her female peers, Fazeela was able to reinvent herself professionally.
As a young woman, straight out of school, she joined a bank in Colombo as a banking assistant. In 17 years, she climbed up the corporate ladder to become regional manager—a position she later quit to care for her children.
Unfazed, Fazeela started her own small home-based daycare business in 2012, initially serving only 4-5 children. Today, Fazeela is the director of the CeeBees pre-school and childcare centers serving several corporate clients in Colombo.
Fazeela’s success belies the fact that
And while employment rates have gone down across the region, women account for most of this decline.
These numbers are worrying because a drop in female employment has important social costs.
First, when women control a greater share of household incomes, children are healthier and do better in school.
Second, when women work for pay, they have a greater voice in their households, in their communities, and society.
A by the International Monetary Fund estimated that
The good news is that
Editor's note: This blog post is part of a series for the 'Bureaucracy Lab', a World Bank initiative to better understand the world's public officials.
It is a well-known, if unacceptable, fact that women globally earn significantly less than men for doing the same work. In the United States, women famously earn “79 cents to the dollar a man earns”, and similar disparities hold across developed and developing countries for wage labor (WDR, 2012).
Being a woman, mother, sister, aunt – name it, it’s something women wake up to daily and they love it. None of them question about being enumerated for these roles. We marvel and revel in the roles.
But make no mistake.
Women want to work, and they want to stay in the workplace.
What they seek is balance: a gender-balanced workplace, a gender-balanced management, and more gender-balance in sharing wealth and prosperity.
In that sense, it’s heartening to see some of the proposals put forth in the government of Sri Lanka’s budget: more daycare centers, flexible work hours, and incentives to promote maternity leave.
These are very welcome changes to think equal, build smart, innovate for change—the 2019 International Women's Day campaign theme—and we encourage those with jobs to implement these policy changes.
This year, let me share with you
View from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic / World Bank
Published in digital portal
In the past, a company in the Dominican Republic facing financial difficulties, such as falling behind on tax payments and having outstanding debts with suppliers and cashflow problems, usually faced bankruptcy, with low rates of recovery.
Non-garment industries such as leather, furniture, hospitality and Information & Technology (IT) are also poised to grow.
But how can we , the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day?
Female participation in the workforce has been increasing but remains less than half of male participation rates across primary working ages.
Of those females joining work, over 80 percent are engaged in low-skilled, low-productivity jobs in the informal sector with little opportunity for career progression.
Yet, Bangladesh still has a long way to go with female share in enrollments around 25 percent in TVET programs.
In fact, a identifies some keys areas of intervention for improving female participation in technical diploma programs:
- creating a gender-friendly environment in polytechnics and workplaces;
- developing more service-orientated diploma programs;
- developing a TVET awareness campaign for females;
- (supporting a career counseling and guidance system for females;
- improving access to higher education;
- providing demand-stimulating incentives; (vii) generating research and knowledge;
- leveraging partnerships to promote opportunities for females and
- generating more and better data to track progress and inform policy and operations for female-friendly TVET.
- Technical and Vocational Education
- South Asia Workforce
- Jobs and Development; Skills; Human Capital
- South Asia
- Social Development
- Private Sector Development
- Law and Regulation
- Labor and Social Protection
- Global Economy
- South Asia
Do you think the world is becoming more equal for women at work? The recently published gives us some insight. While achieving gender equality requires a broad range of efforts over time, the study focuses on the law as an important first step to providing an objective measure of how specific regulations affect women’s incentives to participate in economic activity.
What is captured in the Women, Business and the Law index?
introduces a new index structured around eight indicators that cover different stages of a woman’s working life, which have significant implications for the economic standing of women: Going Places, Starting a Job, Getting Paid, Getting Married, Having Children, Running a Business, Managing Assets and Getting a Pension.
8 Indicators that Measure How Laws Affect Women Through Their Working Lives
For instance, if a woman cannot leave her home without permission can she effectively look for a job or go on an interview? Even if she is hired, will she need to quit if she gets married or has children? Will she have to move to a lower paying job because she must balance work with caring for her family?
- institutional reform
- capacity building
- transport affordability
- urban transport financing
- urban transport planning
- transport planning
- transport governance
- urban mobility
- mass transit
- public transport
- urban transport
- sustainable mobility SuM4All
- sustainable transport
- Sustainable Communities
- Urban Development
- Latin America & Caribbean
Kenya is well known for its innovation in technology, particularly mobile technology in cash transfers. These innovations have largely been championed by the private sector and young entrepreneurs.
In contrast, the public sector tends to play catch up adopting new technology, and that has remained true in implementing Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS, also referred to as digital maps, is utilized to capture, store, analyze, manage, and present geographic data.