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close this bookToward Gender Equality: The Role of Public Policy (WB, 1995, 88 p.)
close this folderChapter three
View the documentPublic Policies Matter
View the documentEqualizing Opportunities by Modifying, the Legal Framework
View the documentLand and Property Rights
View the documentLabor Market Policies and Employment Law
View the documentFamily Law
View the documentWomen's bargaining position in relation to household
View the documentFinancial Laws and Regulations
View the documentMacroeconomic: Policies
View the documentInflation tends to hit women harder than men.
View the documentSectoral Investments
View the documentUsing Targeting Measures to Narrow the Gender
View the documentInvolving Beneficiaries in Public Policy
View the documentGenerating and Analyzing Gender-Desegregated Data
View the documentWorking in Collaboration
View the documentStrengthening International Policies to Meet New Challenges
View the documentConclusions

Macroeconomic: Policies

Many developing countries are implementing important policy and institutional reforms to address changing economic conditions on both the domestic and international fronts. These reforms are often supported by international financial institutions and bilateral donors. The pace of reform has varied across countries Those countries that have implemented reforms early on, carried them out consistently, and received adequate financial support have generally enjoyed faster and stronger economic growth than count ties that have undertaken reforms too slowly, too intermittently, or not at all. Where implementation has been slow or the government's commitment weak, economic distortions have tended to multiply and economic trowels to slow. limiting the government's ability to invest in physical and human capital for the future.

It is often the poorest groups in society that stand to lose the most from economic distortions. High and rising inflation places a disproportionate tax burden on the poor including low-paid wage workers and those with fixed incomes. For this and other reasons, inflation tends to hit women harder than men. An overvalued currency is also regressive; it keeps the price of goods artificially low. crowding out many locally produced goods. Women's businesses. which ate often concentrated in the informal sector, can be particularly vulnerable to competitions from cheap snorts. An overvalued currency reduces international competitiveness. limiting the availability of foreign exchange for domestic entrepreneurs and constraining business expansion and employment creation. A firm commitment to policy refortify is therefore essential to economic growth and sustainable initiatives for alleviating poverty.