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.
This Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for the Kingdom of Lesotho presents a determined plan in pursuance of high and sustainable equity-based economic growth. It contains medium-term objectives and strategies to address the major challenges facing the country. These challenges include employment creation and income generation, and improving quality of and access to education and health services. Lesotho plans to deal boldly with its trading and investment partners by exploiting the opportunities inherent in the process of globalization under such mechanisms as the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act.
1. Gender inequalities in opportunities and outcomes persist in Lesotho and the growth potential from closing the gender gaps is sizable. Gender-based legal restrictions, as well as barriers in access to education, healthcare, financial services, assets, the labor market, and formalsector employment prevent women from fully and equally participating in the economy. This in turn lowers aggregate productivity and hampers the efficient allocation of talent and resources, thereby weighing down on economic growth. Eliminating gender inequality is thus macro-critical — it can boost productivity and help countries fulfill their growth potential, while enhancing economic stability and resilience.2 A 2015 study suggests that closing the gender gap of Lesotho with the ASEAN-5 countries could boost economic growth by 0.5 percentage point, which is comparable to cutting income inequality, and greater than the impact of improving infrastructure. To quantify, we selected a subgroup of ASEAN-5 countries with a strong track record of growth as the benchmark and decomposed the differences in average real GDP per capita growth between Lesotho and these fast-growing countries to determine the role that different factors play in explaining Lesotho’s growth shortfall (Figure 1).3
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
On July 22, 2022, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the IMF’s first Strategy toward Mainstreaming Gender into the IMF’s core activities. Mainstreaming gender at the IMF starts with the recognition that reducing gender disparities goes hand-in-hand with higher economic growth, greater economic stability and resilience, and lower income inequality. At the same time, economic and financial policies can exacerbate or narrow gender disparities. Well-designed macroeconomic, structural, and financial policies can support efficient and inclusive outcomes and equitably benefit women, girls, and the society in general. The strategy lays out how the IMF can help its member countries address gender disparities in the context of carrying out its core functions—surveillance, lending, and capacity development. The strategy comprises four key pillars: first, gender-disaggregated data collection and development of modeling tools to enable staff to conduct policy analysis; second, a robust governance framework for an evenhanded approach across members based on the macro-criticality of gender; third, strengthening collaboration with external partners to benefit from knowledge sharing and peer learning, leverage complementarities, and maximize the impact on the ground; and fourth, the efficient use of resources allocated to gender by putting in place a central unit for realizing scale economies and supporting country teams.
This 2012 Article IV Consultation focuses on the financial sector and macroeconomic situation in Vietnam. The authorities adopted a stabilization package in February 2011 in response to increasing pressures on prices and the exchange rate in late 2010. Executive Directors commended the tightening of macroeconomic policies in 2011, which contributed to declining inflation, stabilizing the exchange rate, and a rebuilding of international reserves. Directors also recommended that monetary policy give priority to reducing inflation and rebuilding reserves further.