healthy women

Healthy, educated women lead to healthy economies

Investing in women’s health, education and economic empowerment is critical for ending global poverty, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told a major women’s health and rights conference on Wednesday.

More than 5,500 delegates are attending the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen a major global conference on the health, rights and wellbeing of women and girls.

Here are some facts:

*Girls and women spend 90 percent of their earned income on their families while men spend 30-40 percent.

*Giving female farmers the same access to resources as men could lift up to 150 million people out of hunger.

*When 10 percent more girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases by an average of 3 percent.

*Each additional year of secondary schooling leads to a 15-25 percent increase in a girl’s potential income.

*Eliminating barriers to employment for girls and women could raise labor productivity by 25 percent in some countries.

*Investing $9.4 billion annually to fully meet the need for modern contraceptive services would reduce unintended pregnancies by 70 percent, unsafe abortions by 74 percent, maternal deaths by 25 percent and newborn deaths by 18 percent.

*The economic returns associated with narrowing the gender gap are six to eight times higher than the social spending required.

*$12 trillion could be added to global GDP in 2025 if all countries matched the historical progress toward gender parity achieved by the fastest improving country in their region.

Sources: Women Deliver, McKinsey Global Institute

(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit to see more stories.)

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