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Gender Equality for Regional Growth

Nordregio News Issue 2, 2013

Photo: Kim Wyon/VisitDenmark

Gender Equality for Promoting Economic Development

There is an increasing understanding that gender equality is an essential precursor for promoting economic development, in addition to being central to fairness and inclusive societal development. A lack of gender equality between women and men, implies that human resources are not being harnessed to their greatest extent for the development of the economy, and society at large. In economic terms, gender equality thus broadly means utilizing everyone and letting everybody – both men and women – be assets on which to build development through e.g. employment in the labour market, higher education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this issue of Nordregio News we focus on the discussions of how gender equality and economic development are related.

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Inequalities Risk Hampering Economic Development

By Katarina Pettersson

In the EU 2020 growth strategy, the goal for the European Union is to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. This policy formulation suggests that the goal has yet to be achieved. One indicator of its failure to become smart, sustainable or inclusive is the lack of gender equality between women and men, which in turn implies that the full potential of human resources for the development of the economy and society in general has not yet been realised.

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Gender Aware Management for Increased Innovation Capacity

By Marita Svensson

In recent years, the term innovation capacity has come to dominate the Swedish terminology flora in discussions concerning sustainable growth. Innovation capacity is a key factor behind organisations' competitiveness and without it they are in danger of stagnating and in the longer term losing ground and disappearing. Moreover, while the importance of increased innovative power is stressed everywhere in society, paradoxically enough we see that the manner in which many companies are led and organised is neither particularly innovative nor able to take advantage of all their personnel's innovative power. It is becoming ever clearer how crucial standards and values are for corporate success. Therefore, working on promoting equality should form a natural part of the activities of organisations dedicated to creating the preconditions for sustainable growth.

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A Renewed Focus on Gender Equality in Iceland

By Lise Smed Olsen

The issue of gender equality has received increasing attention in assessments of the financial crisis and in initiatives to rebuild the economy of Iceland. Ambitions to ensure balanced regional development are challenged by the increasing outmigration from rural areas, especially by young women. The women do not find jobs that they find attractive, and one way for public authorities to address this issue has been by initiatives to support entrepreneurship.

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