Narrowing Gender Gap Could Boost Emerging Economies, Moody’s Says

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Closing gender gaps exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic could help boost the recovery of emerging economies and improve their credit ratings, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Major emerging economies have increased measures to help women, who have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic as lockdowns forced many to leave their jobs to take care of their children. Help includes direct cash transfers, training and credit lines for female business owners, Moody’s said.

Implementing similar measures coupled with more structural changes to secure women’s access to education and employment could bring sustainable recovery with improvements in productivity and consumption in developing nations.

“Efforts to close gender gaps in employment are likely to support credit ratings indirectly,” Moody’s managing director, Atsi Sheth, said in a report released on Tuesday. “Fundamental social policies, particularly with regard to women’s access to education and employment, are more likely to create enduring change.”

To better assess social risks in the countries it covers, Moody’s said it will use the United Nation’s global gender inequality index, which measures reproductive health, empowerment and economic status.

Bringing women’s education and employment levels on par with those of men could add about $20 trillion to the global economy in 2050, according to Bloomberg Economics research.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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