Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity

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Author/Publisher: The World Bank Group, 2014
Download: English

Voice and Agency: Empowering women and girls for shared prosperity is a major new report by the World Bank that shines a spotlight on the value of voice and agency, the patterns of constraints that limit their realization, and the associated costs, not only to individual women but to their families, communities, and societies. It highlights promising policies and interventions, and it identifies priority areas where further research and more and better data and evidence are needed. Underlining that agency has both intrinsic and instrumental, concrete value, this report puts advancing women’s voice and agency squarely on the international development agenda. 

Removing constraints and unleashing women’s full productive potential can yield enormous dividends that help make whole societies more resilient and more prosperous.

- Delays in marriage are associated with greater educational achievement and lower fertility. And lower fertility can increase women’s life expectancy and has benefits for children’s health and education.
- When more women are elected to office, policy-making increasingly reflects the priorities of families and women.
- Property ownership can enhance women’ agency by increasing the social status of women, amplifying their voice, and increasing their bargaining power within the household.


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