This paper offers an analysis of the constraints preventing women from developing their full economic potential, and possible policies to overcome these obstacles:
Women make up a little over half the world’s population, but their contribution to measured economic activity, growth, and well-being is far below its potential, with serious macroeconomic consequences. Despite significant progress in recent decades, labor markets across the world remain divided along gender lines, and progress toward gender equality seems to have stalled. Female labor force participation (FLFP) has remained lower than male participation, women account for most unpaid work, and when women are employed in paid work, they are overrepresented in the informal sector and among the poor. They also face significant wage differentials vis-à-vis their male colleagues. In many countries, distortions and discrimination in the labor market restrict women’s options for paid work, and female representation in senior positions and entrepreneurship remains low.
Read more at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2013/sdn1310.pdf