The link between gender equality and economic freedom

Today is International Women’s Day and, in some of the least surprising news of the day, it turns out that women’s equality ties into economic freedom.

International Women’s Day was founded by the American Socialist Party in 1909 and usually ends up celebrating women in government, politics, and statism, but let’s look at something else. Cross-referencing data from the Fraser Institute, which looks at general economic freedom, and the World Bank in the United Nations, which looks at gender disparity, we see that countries that are more economically free also have more gender equality.

With few exceptions, in countries with more economic freedom, female education rates are higher, women enjoy greater opportunities, and less inequality exists in terms of female vs male income. Where there is more economic freedom, women will enjoy greater social and economic freedom.

But could this simply be due to “rich country effect,” the idea that a wealthy country merely has more money to pay its women workers? Of course, there are particular examples to support both theories, but on average, globally, it’s true that more economic freedom means more gender equality.

What a novel idea.

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By James R. Harrigan and Antony Davies

This article was originally published on the Learn Liberty blog.

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.

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