As societies become more equal and every individual’s productive capacity is valued and engaged, economies become more resilient.To build such a society, the key is inclusiveness—to make sure that no group is kept at the margins and subjected to exploitation. One particular group that deserves special attention, if for no other reason than its constituting half the world’s population, is women. It has often been pointed out that an economy cannot grow to its full potential if its women are not treated on par with men. This is likely true. But even if it were not, there is a case for treating men and women equally. We cannot forever remain victims of the idea that the agenda of inclusion and equality (pertaining not just to women but to any group) has to be justified as a means towards the end of higher economic growth. Indeed, what we need to argue is that, even if we had to sacrifice some economic growth in order to achieve inclusion and greater equality, the trade-off would be well worth it.
This is taken from the forward to The World Bank Group’s report Women Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal. For the complete report, go to http://wbl.worldbank.org/~/media/WBG/WBL/Documents/Reports/2016/Women-Business-and-the-Law-2016.pdf