Gender inequalities persist in all countries and take the form of labour segregation, gender wage gaps, gaps in asset ownership and in access to technology and information, and huge differences in responsibility for house and care works.
It is evident that economic policies impact different segments of the population, including men and women, in different ways; the assumption that economic policies are "gender neutral" has been increasingly challenged. Only if policy makers consciously take into account these horizontal differences can economic policy play a critical role in narrowing the gender gap.
The depth of the recent economic and financial crisis and its close connection to high and volatile prices in food and fuel markets has raised several questions about the overall wisdom of the development path followed during the last three decades.
It has pointed to the need to incorporate the objectives of poverty reduction, employment creation, social progress, and gender equality within growth strategies in order to achieve a "development-centered globalization".
The purpose of the Women in Development event is threefold:
- To take the gender issue to a new level of political prominence.
- To yield new insights into the relationship between macro-economic policies, development and gender.
- To launch a number of institutional initiatives to further the above objectives.
The Event will revolve around a high-profile, interactive round table. The presentations will be organized in four thematic sessions, namely:
- Macro-economic policy: Does gender matter?
- Trade, poverty and gender: New insights from a contextual, country-specific approach.
- Agriculture, food security, intellectual property and gender considerations.
- Equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome: How to translate women’s educational gains into equal access to full employment and decent work. Each session will be followed by a question and answer session.
The Round table will bring together multiple stakeholders ranging from policy leaders, UN agencies, the academia, the private sector and civil society.