In an interview to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, IMF chief Christine Lagarde has clearly stated the benefits of women’s empowerment to the world economy. “Things are changing,” she told the Guardian. “There was a time when women in the economy, women in employment, women in finance were not seen as macro-critical. That’s no longer the case.”
While Lagarde argued that banks would be more stable if there were more women on their boards, and that some countries could boost the size of their economies by an astonishing 35 percent if they abandoned discriminatory laws, there remains a long way to go while:
- 88 percent of countries had restrictions against women in the workplace embedded in the constitution or law
- 59 countries have no laws against sexual harassment in the workplace
- There are 18 countries where women can be legally prevented from working
- Female participation in advanced countries is still way below that of men
Lagarde said she welcomes the #MeToo movement, while remaining vigilant for the possibility of its being used against women in times to come. “I worry that firms won’t employ people because of the political risk; because they think a women or a minority might cause trouble they will employ somebody else,” she explains. “I have not seen it happening, but it is on my radar.”
“I didn’t see #MeToo coming but I welcome it immensely,” she said.
Enjoy more of Christine Lagarde insights, made on the Women in the World stage:
Read the full story at The Guardian.