A CGD note with Megan O'Donnell, accompanied by a blog looking at the private sector's record of involving women in innovation (car companies: awful, biomed: better). It is a shocking waste of talent that women are just 15% of listed inventors on patents worldwide. There are things we could do to make that better.
The next US administration should allocate at least $1 billion in additional resources—equal to a little over two percent of current US overseas assistance—exclusively dedicated to advancing gender equality in developing countries, with a specific focus on improving women’s and girls’ economic opportunities and outcomes. A CGD brief with Megan O'Donnell Mayra Buvinic and Cindy Huang.
A CGD paper, with Ben Crisman, Sarah Dykstra and Megan O'Donnell. In 1996, Burkina Faso enacted legislation banning the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Much of the qualitative literature surrounding FGM/C discounts the impact of legal change on what is considered a social/cultural issue. We use data from the Demographic and Health Surveys DHS(VI) in Burkina Faso to test for a discontinuous change in the likelihood of being cut in the year the law was passed. We ﬁnd robust evidence for a substantial drop in hazard rates in 1996 and investigate the heterogeneous impact of the law by region, religion, and ethnicity. Overall, we roughly estimate that over a ten year period the law averted the genital mutilation/cutting of approximately 237,591 women and girls. We qualify our ﬁndings recognizing that Burkina Faso is a special case with a long history of bottom-up and top-down approaches to eliminating the practice.
A policy memo for CGD on a law to help US multinationals combat inequality in the workplace overseas.
A number of countries worldwide have laws that specifically discriminate against women’s participation in the workforce, including bans on particular occupations, restrictions on opening bank accounts or taking jobs without a male family member’s authority, and restrictions on travel. Such discriminatory laws are associated with considerably lower female labor force participation and with negative consequences for economic growth and sustainable development. They also contradict globally accepted norms and values on gender equality in the workplace. The US legislation or executive action we propose would encourage US multinationals to mitigate the impact of local discriminatory legislation to the extent possible within the host country’s domestic laws by following a code of conduct regarding women’s employment, potentially limiting that obligation to the most discriminatory of countries. The proposed legislation is modeled on US anti-apartheid legislation (P.L. 99-440) that encouraged US firms to hire, train, and promote nonwhites in South Africa in the 1980s. Part of the legislation addresses the actions of the executive branch; this could also form a stand-alone executive order.
A chapter for CGD's White House and the World publication looking at US policies from trade through migration, investment and aid that could improve outcomes for women worldwide. Written with Sarah Dykstra.