At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 governments pledged collective responsibility to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the first being to halve world poverty by 2015, and the third to "Promote gender equality and empower women". This book provides evidence as to why promoting gender equality is essential for halving world poverty and realising all eight MDGs. Gender inequality contributes to poverty. A shift to ensure women have increased access to resources will have a significant effect on household welfare. At the same time, poverty contributes to gender inequality, and tackling poverty may also reduce gender inequality. However, economic growth alone will not bring such equality, as gender inequality is caused by patriarchal regimes as well as scarcity. In the short run, there may be a trade-off between gender equality and economic growth, with women's cheap labour fuelling growth. However, long run, sustainable and pro-poor growth goes together with increasing gender equality.
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