The first half of this helpdesk research report provides case studies examining the links between economic growth and gender equality in China. Most resources focus on the economic reforms associated with WTO accession and examine their gendered impacts. They all find that China’s impressive economic growth has failed to benefit men and women proportionately. Several authors argue that growth has actually increased inequality, or has created new gender inequalities. Women now generally occupy lower paid and lower status jobs than men.
The second half of this report highlights resources on growth and gender in other countries, predominantly in Sub-Saharan Africa, this time focussing on the impact of gender inequality on growth. The resources on Africa offer more of a consensus in arguing that gender inequality has a negative effect on growth. The following are identified as particular barriers to African women fully participating in economic activity:
- high fertility rates
- gender gaps in education
- lack of access to formal employment
- gender gaps in access to assets and inputs in agriculture.