Improving gender equality improves economic and social conditions for everyone.

We focus on women and girls because of the “ripple effect.” When you improve women’s equality, it improves economic and social conditions for everyone.

As the World Economic Forum, points out, “the most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its human talent – the skills, education and productivity of its workforce.” Since women account for slightly more than half of Canada’s population, empowering women means making the most of all of our talent. The Forum also points to the “numerous studies during the last decade that have confirmed that reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth.” When countries achieve gender equality they maximize their competitiveness and economic potential.

According to the Forum’s research, even in countries like Canada where women enjoy the same health and education levels as men, their economic participation is “far from optimal.” They point to policy barriers, such as the persistent lack of affordable childcare, and the need for practices and policies that “provide equal opportunities for rising to positions of leadership within companies.”

As former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says, improving gender equality creates immediate benefits: “Families are healthier, they are better fed, their income, savings and reinvestment go up. And what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, the world.”

When women and girls live free from violence, poverty, and rigid stereotypes that limit their potential, our neighbourhoods are safer, our economy is stronger, and our pool of future leaders is more diverse.

Helping women and girls moves us all forward.