The time is now to guarantee gender equality

Axel van Trotsenburg

By Axel van Trotsenburg

World Bank’s Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean

Every woman born in Latin America and the Carib-bean faces a life filled with social and economic hurdles. Despite significant progress in access to education for girls at all levels, they are not offered the same opportunities once they graduate. The numbers lay out a stark reality. Barely 57 percent of women, ages 15-64, participate in the labour market, compared to 82 percent for men, World Bank data from 2018 shows. And when they do, on average they earn 21 percent less, according to International Labour Organization numbers from the same year.

This is not just an injustice against women, it has enormous consequences across Latin America and the Caribbean. On a social level, gender inequality leads to a host of problems including teen pregnancy, child marriage and violence against women. On an economic level, 15.8 percent of the region’s per capita income is lost because of the gender gap in labour participation, according to World Bank information from 2016.

We cannot allow this to continue. Not on International Women’s Day nor on any of the other 364 days of the year…..

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