Despite Growing Gender Equality, More Women Stay at Home Than Men

Despite Growing Gender Equality, More Women Stay at Home Than Men. YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie. January 25, 2018

 Women have made great strides in education, employment, politics and equality in general worldwide, but participation in the labor force remains stubbornly below those of men. “By and large, a substantial proportion of mothers withdraw from employment after childbirth,” explains demography expert Joseph Chamie. Choices vary for men and women about working full or part time, placing children or elders in care, or staying at home for family duties. In India for 2016, 29 percent of women with young children joined the workforce versus 81 percent of men, and in Sweden, 80 percent of women are in the workforce versus 84 percent of men. Low participation rates contribute to a gender gap in wages, and higher participation rates contribute to economic growth and reduce poverty. Individuals and families make many calculations in balancing work and family responsibilities. Chamie notes that “families with two incomes are better prepared for unemployment, higher education, martial disruption, illness or economic downturns.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Modernizing U.S. Labor Standards for 21st-century Families

Modernizing U.S. Labor Standards for 21st-century Families. Brookings Institution. Heather Boushey and Bridget Ansel. October 19, 2017

Women now make up almost half the U.S. workforce. Despite the central role women play in the U.S. economy, labor laws and institutions do little to address the various ways in which women are held back at work. This not only hampers women’s economic well-being, but also has implications for U.S. productivity, labor force participation, and economic growth. In this paper, the authors propose policies aimed at boosting women’s economic outcomes: paid family leave, fair scheduling, and combatting wage discrimination. They show how enacting carefully designed policies in these categories will better address the challenges of today’s labor force, enhance women’s economic outcomes, and provide benefits for the national economy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 1.67 MB].

From College to Cabinet: Women in National Security

From College to Cabinet: Women in National Security. Center for a New American Security. Katherine Kidder et al. April 05, 2017

Throughout history, the talent pool of women has been underutilized in the national security sector. Trends over the past 40 years—since the first classes of women were accepted to the nation’s military academies—show an increase in the representation of women in the military and throughout national security departments and agencies, including in the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, and, more recently, the Department of Homeland Security—but not necessarily at the top. In the post-9/11 world, women have made up a larger and more visible portion of the national security establishment, yet they remain in the minority of leadership positions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages, 583.09 KB].

Revisiting What Works: Women, Economic Empowerment and Smart Design

Revisiting What Works: Women, Economic Empowerment and Smart Design. Center for Global Development. Mayra Buvinic and Megan O’Donnell . November 2, 2016.

Expanding women’s economic opportunities benefits both women and society. While these benefits are increasingly well understood, much less is known regarding the most effective interventions to empower women economically. Updated evidence presented in the full Revisiting What Works: Women, Economic Empowerment and Smart Design report yields useful insights on the interventions that may contribute to women’s economic empowerment. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages, 1.29 MB].

Women’s Month

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY 2012: A GLOBAL INDEX AND RANKING. Economist Intelligence Unit. March 2012.

Women are the world’s greatest undeveloped source of labour: nearly one-half of working-age women are not currently active in the formal global economy. By working disproportionately in unpaid labour, particularly in developing countries, women traditionally have had less access than men to income and resources. Thus, they are often less productive than men, which holds back the overall economy. As governments worldwide seek short- and long-term fixes to waning economic performance, expanding opportunities for the 1.5bn women not employed in the formal sector will take on even greater importance. But simply increasing the number of working women will not be enough. The poorest regions of the world have among the highest levels of female labour force participation, and poverty in those regions persists. Rather, to realise greater returns from female economic activity, the legal, social, financial and educational barriers hindering women’s productivity need to be removed, according to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].


ENTERPRISING WOMEN, THRIVING SOCIETIES. International Information Program, U.S. Department of State. March 2012.

This issue of eJournal USA encourages women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. It cites the experiences of businesswomen around the world and features successful women entrepreneurs who can serve as role models. It also identifies barriers and best practices for overcoming them.


MAKING THEIR MARK: BLACK WOMEN LEADERS. International Information Program, U.S. Department of State. February 2012.

 The eJournal profiles African-American women of the 20th and 21st centuries who have made significant contributions to many spheres of American life. It also offers insights into how earlier generations of African-American women serve as touchstones for the present generation. The list of women featured here, while not comprehensive, is wide-ranging. It includes women who have devoted their talents and energies to business, civil rights, politics, academia and mass media. Each in her way has affirmed the American Dream not only for African Americans, but for women and men of all ethnicities.