Equality for women means a better life for all

Written by Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, EuropeAid on the Devex blog.

“For as long as society has existed, women have excelled as workers and breadwinners, as mothers and homemakers, as development drivers and peace-builders, as leaders.

And yet still today, in our 21st-century world, they are held back by poverty, discrimination and lack of opportunity.

Isn’t it time, then, that we woke up once and for all to the fact that, in preventing women from fulfilling their potential, we are holding back our own development and progress?

The “She Builds” campaign — with its launch, appropriately enough, on International Women’s Day — should do a wonderful job in highlighting women’s multiple contributions to society. It will focus on their central roles in building communities, economies, innovations and the future. We welcome it, because it very much echoes our own understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment as key to development.

Moreover, it shows that, from a development perspective, furthering gender equality and women’s empowerment is about seeing the whole picture and demonstrating that specific actions are just one piece in a far bigger puzzle. Indeed, investing in women and girls in every sector of society pays dividends and is therefore the only way forward.”

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