Gender equality is not just a basic human right, but also a prerequisite for poverty reduction and long-term economic prosperity. Gender equality must be considered a predictor of development success. Gender-based inequities, it might be claimed, stifle both economic growth and poverty reduction, and hence have substantial consequences for the design of anti-poverty programs and pro-poor growth strategies.
Economic growth is a prerequisite for the reduction of poverty, but is not sufficient by itself. For economic growth to lead to reduced poverty and improved equality, people who live in poverty must have the possibility themselves, fully and on equal terms, to contribute to economic development and profit from it. In most countries gender equality has increased with economic development.
Gender equality and pro poor growth are linked because traditional gender roles and divisions of labour lead to economic inefficiencies, which hinder growth and poverty reduction initiatives. Gender conventions, rather than economic logic, force women to spend a far larger proportion of their time performing housework than males, or to confine them to low-wage agricultural or informal economy professions. Increased money for consumption and investment, as well as improved health and education for children, are all benefits of women's labour force involvement.
Public Employment Services (PESs) are a crucial means of supporting the labour market inclusion of women, since they are one of the main ways to implement employment and labour market policies. Training is an essential part of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) supporting women's re(entry) into the labour market. In many European countries participation in ALMPs is mandatory in order to receive unemployment insurance. PESs must also serve the needs of employers by providing advice on human resource management. In India for example, poverty alleviation programs such as Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) or Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) can be used for the same, it is currently male dominated, but with awareness gender equality can be promoted through these schemes
Public employment programs have been used extensively in many emerging and developing countries to guarantee employment for those who have been inactive or unemployed. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in India is a crucial program for supporting employment in poor rural households by providing up to 100 days of work a year. Women's average market wage is less than the daily minimum wage for agricultural laborer's in most states. Here women will grow as well, as they have faced a lot of discrimination but these schemes help women to get work as well as training and experience. This would promote gender equality by giving women a chance to work.
Entrepreneurship can be a powerful source of women's economic independence and a way to work out of poverty. Women are given insufficient support and access to the types of resources which can promote business growth. The Sunhara Program enables women to access markets through horticultural value chains in India. It uses leverage points to improve agricultural systems and build on existing market incentives and knowledge of Indian farmers.
Women tend to have much more limited access to financial services and less opportunities for savings and credit than men. But those that do have access are much more resilient in the face of poverty, and where they are also involved in entrepreneurship and cooperatives they are more likely to have profitability and growth. Like in India there are self help groups which help women grow there own business. These self help groups are affiliated with micro finances and hence would create more employment, which in turn leads to more empowerment of women.
In a nutshell, pro-poor strategies will help create gender equality, especially in a country like India and other developing nations this would be a great push for local women.