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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

1. The government’s growth and employment strategy recognizes the promotion of gender equality as key to achieving inclusive growth and meeting the SDGs. The 2035 Vision of Emerging Cameroon states that “Cameroon, an emerging country, builds on the principles of good governance where women and men can enjoy the same rights and participate equally and in an equitable manner to the development”. Implementation has followed, with a rapid reduction of Cameroon’s gender inequality index (GII)2 in recent years, to just above the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) average. But remaining gender gaps prevent women from fully participating in the economy. Women suffer more from poverty and unemployment and tend to work in low paying activities. Women’s access to education and health access is lower than for men. Almost 40 percent of women are married before age 18, resulting in fertility and maternal mortality rates well above the SSA average.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Our analysis focuses on gender gaps in Hungary and their potential implications for growth. The key channel through which gender inequities affect growth outcomes in Hungary is low female participation in the labor market, in particular of mothers. To a large degree, disparities in labor outcomes reflect a widely-held preference for traditional gender roles that is reinforced by government policies, such as extended parental leave. Policy recommendations focus on measures to encourage female labor force participation by expanding women’s options in reconciling work and family life and creating a more level playing-field (including through the reform of parental benefits, greater availability of childcare, and steps to reduce the gender wage gap).

Hites Ahir, Hendre Garbers, Mattia Coppo, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Mr. Futoshi Narita, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, Vivian Malta, Xin Tang, Daniel Gurara, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Linda G. Venable, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Despite strong economic growth since 2000, many low-income countries (LICs) still face numerous macroeconomic challenges, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the deceleration in real GDP growth during the 2008 global financial crisis, LICs on average saw 4.5 percent of real GDP growth during 2000 to 2014, making progress in economic convergence toward higher-income countries. However, the commodity price collapse in 2014–15 hit many commodity-exporting LICs and highlighted their vulnerabilities due to the limited extent of economic diversification. Furthermore, LICs are currently facing a crisis like no other—COVID-19, which requires careful policymaking to save lives and livelihoods in LICs, informed by policy debate and thoughtful research tailored to the COVID-19 situation. There are also other challenges beyond COVID-19, such as climate change, high levels of public debt burdens, and persistent structural issues.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

PRESS RELEASE

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes investment strategy to foster structural transformation in Rwanda. Over the past 15 years, Rwanda has transformed its economy by moving workers out of agriculture into mostly services and some industry. This has been accomplished through strong public investment flows and efficient public investment management. Going forward, the challenge is whether the private sector can complement the infrastructure assets put in place by the public sector and maintain economic momentum. It will also require continued effort by the government in raising education standards, better matching qualifications offered to students to those most in demand by employers, and lowering electricity and transportation costs.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

1. Reducing gender disparities in opportunities, outcomes, and decision-making roles raises economic growth and enhances macro-financial stability. There is growing evidence that a country’s economic growth rises with greater participation of women in the labor force. This happens when women face fewer legal barriers, participate more fully in the formal economy, and have more equal access to education, finance, infrastructure, assets, and technology. Closing these gender gaps can also help lower income inequality and increase economic diversification, which in turn contribute to economic growth and macroeconomic resilience.