Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is There a Win Win?

Kabeer, N.
Natali, L.
Institute of Development Studies
Publication date: 
February 2013

Does economic growth in itself contribute to gender equality? This resource ultimately suggests that the relationship between gender equality and economic growth is an asymmetrical one. Evidence implies that improvements in gender equality, particularly in education and employment, contribute to economic growth far more than economic growth contributes to gender equality, especially in terms of health, well being, and rights.

This paper reviews literature published in 2011 (with the addition of a few more recent papers), examining the impact of gender equality on economic growth, and the impact of economic growth on gender equality. Most of the literature reviewed uses highly aggregated cross-country regression and country level data to arrive at their results. It presents evidence for both arguments and concludes that there is no guarantee that growth on its own will address critical dimensions of gender equality.

Recommendations include: Reformulating growth strategies to be more inclusive in their impacts, and/or devising redistributive measures to ensure that men and women benefit more equally from growth.

IDS Working Papers, Special Issue: Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is there a Win-Win? Volume 2013, Issue 417,pages 1–58, 2013
Publication place: 
Brighton, UK
Kabeer, N. and Natali, L. (2013). Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is there a Win-Win?. IDS Working Papers, 2013(417), 1-58.
Copyright @Institute of Development Studies
Gender equality
economic growth
cross country regression analysis
gender inequality
gender relations