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At the IDB, we believe that together we can go farther. Our partnership network is making positive differences in Latin America and the Caribbean every day, and this blog is our channel for telling that story. Stay tuned for literature on partnership perspectives, stories from the field, changing trends, outlooks for development and the region, information on ways and opportunities to partner, and more. Thanks for stopping by.
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Girl Power: An Untapped Force

By and - Sep 25 2015

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What’s the secret ingredient to development success? If we let the numbers speak for themselves, the answer is resoundingly clear: girl power.  A recent study indicates that closing the gender gap in Latin America’s workforce would boost the region’s GDP per person by 16%, and research by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) suggests that women who do earn spend more wisely. Studies show that 90% of women dedicate their income to education, health, and nutrition, compared to only 40% of men. Yet how can we effectively harness this force—this girl power—for development?

The IDB is already doing so, leveraging its close government relationships, financing capabilities, and expansive partnership network to transform economic opportunities and outcomes for girls and women in the region. At the Transforming Economies: Empowering Women and Girls event in New York today the Bank will reinforce this message, with IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno publicly committing the Bank to empowering women as the economic engines they have the potential to be.

The Bank’s commitment to empowering girls and women is clear. In the last three years, IDB loans with gender-related results have increased fourfold, representing 37% of total Bank Sovereign Guarantee loans in 2013. At the same time, direct investment to promote gender equality has doubled, with funds channeled to action-oriented activities in the gender space. Specifically, the Bank has spent the past few years supporting women entrepreneurship, access to finance, and access to quality, integrated services.

Through Ciudad Mujer, for instance, the IDB and El Salvador’s Ministry of Social Inclusion seek to improve the lives of Salvadoran women through an integrated focus, increased access to essential services, and the promotion of women’s rights. As half of El Salvador’s women are victims of violence and only one-third of those who suffer abuse tend to seek help, Ciudad Mujer offers refuge and care, providing women domestic violence prevention and assistance, promotion and defense of their rights, sexual and reproductive health services, basic health services, child healthcare, and financial empowerment.

Though Ciudad Mujer is only one example of the IDB’s work in the gender space, it well reflects its comprehensive approach to female empowerment. As further evidenced by the Bank’s involvement in CGI, such IDB efforts will only continue to gain speed. Going forward, the Bank is committed to addressing violence against women, providing them the basic services they need to thrive, and helping them flourish as business owners, community leaders, heads of household, and prominent figures in the public and private sectors alike.

At the IDB, we are making great strides for women in Latin America and the Caribbean. Get involved today. We don’t want to go alone, we want to work this others!

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