International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This issue of Finance & Development discusses need of empowering women, which is critical for the world’s economy and people. Unequal or unfair treatment can marginalize women and hinder their participation as productive individuals contributing to society and the economy in invaluable ways. The rich tapestry of organizations and individuals who can make a difference to ensure women have equal opportunities; there is a crucial role for policymakers. They can use their positions to design policies that help women and girls’ access what they need for a fulfilling life—including education, health services, safe transportation, legal protection against harassment, finance, and flexible working arrangements. The IMF recommends these kinds of policy measures to its member countries—and works with many governments to examine how policies affect women. The IMF’s 189 member countries face many different challenges, but empowering women remains a common denominator and a global imperative for all those who care about fairness and diversity, but also productivity and growth of societies and economies that are more inclusive.
This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.