“Indonesia’s future is at stake”, states Camilla Holmemo in her opening address at the Early Childhood Development Policy Conference, held in July 2017 in Jakarta. The program leader for human development, poverty and social development of the World Bank in Indonesia rallies the audience by highlighting the lack of access to early childhood education and development (ECED) services and the high incidence of child stunting in Indonesia.
Despite the country’s middle-income status, one in three children under five are stunted, the fifth highest rate in the world. For these children, the likelihood of becoming productive citizens is significantly hampered – unless we do something about it now.
East Asia and Pacific
Yesterday morning I participated in the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event at the opening of the Mongolian Stock Exchange. A global event sponsored by the IFC and other partners*, the event highlights how economies and individual companies benefit from efforts to close gender gaps in their operations and governing structures.
Earlier I had dug out my notes from a survey of listed companies conducted in 1996. Only 25 of the 249 companies we surveyed counted women as general directors. Today, women lead around six percent of the top 100 listed firms – that is, fewer than 20 years ago. This does not mean that there has not been progress. The last time the World Bank Group enterprises surveys were done, Mongolia had a similar or larger share of firms with women in top management. This number is higher than the region’s average, but such leadership roles were more heavily weighted to smaller firms. Whereas 31 percent of medium-sized firms – that is, those with 20-99 employees – had female top managers, only 17 percent of firms with over 100 employees had women in senior management.
Getting to equal at the top requires more systematic scrutiny of the factors that support or hinder women’s economic empowerment throughout their lives. No one is born a CEO.
So, where are the gender gaps?
Өчигдөр би Монголын Хөрөнгийн Биржийн нээлтийн үеэр ОУСК санхүүжүүлж, бусад түншүүдийн* хамт зохион байгуулсан "Жендэрийн тэгш байдлын төлөө хонх цохих" олон улсын арга хэмжээнд оролцлоо. Тус арга хэмжээ нь үйл ажиллагаа болон засаглалын бүтцэд жендерийн ялгаатай байдлыг арилгаснаар аливаа бизнес, аж ахуйн нэгж, компаниудад ямар үр өгөөжтэй болохыг онцлон тэмдэглэж, аж ахуйн нэгж, олон нийтийг тэгш байдалд уриалан дууддаг.
Энэ арга хэмжээнээс өмнө би 1996 онд хийгдсэн бүртгэлтэй компаниудын судалгаанаас өөрийн хийсэн тэмдэглэлээ гаргаж үзсэн юм. Судалгаанд хамрагдсан 249 компанийн зөвхөн 25 нь л эмэгтэй ерөнхий захиралтай байжээ. Өнөөдөр эмэгтэйчүүд дэлхийн шилдэг 100 бүртгэлтэй компаний 6 орчим хувийг эмэгтэйчүүд удирдаж байгаа нь 20 жилийн өмнөх үзүүлэлттээс бага байна. Гэвч энэ нь ахиц дэвшил гараагүй гэсэн үг биш юм. Хамгийн сүүлд хийгдсэн Дэлхийн Банк Группын аж ахуйн нэгжүүдийн судалгаанаас харахад Монгол улс нь эмэгтэй удирдлагатай аж ахуйн нэгжийн тоо хэмжээгээр ижил эсвэл илүү байгаа нь ажиглагдсан юм. Хэдийгээр энэ үзүүлэлт бүс нутгийн дунджаас өндөр байгаа боловч эмэгтэйчүүд манлайллын үүрэг гүйцэтгэж байгаа аж ахуйн нэгжүүд нь гол төлөв жижиг компаниуд байна. Дунд хэмжээний аж ахуйн нэгж буюу 20-99 ажилтантай компаниудын 31 хувь эмэгтэй менежертэй, 100-с дээш ажилтантай компаниудын 17 хувь л эмэгтэй удирдлагатай байна.
Компаний дээд удирдлагад жендерийн тэгш байдлыг хангахын тулд эмэгтэйчүүдийн эдийн засгийн чадавхийг дэмжиж эсвэл сааруулж буй хvчин зvйлсийг илүү системтэйгээр судалж нягтлахыг шаардлагатай. Хэн ч төрөхдөө гүйцэтгэх захирал болоод төрдөггүй шүү дээ.
Тэгвэл, жендерийн тэгш бус байдал хаана байна вэ?
Lao PDR is rich with biodiversity. The country is home to emblematic animals such as Asian Elephants, Gaur, Green Peafowls, Asiatic Black Bears, and northern White-Cheeked Gibbons. Mountainous topography and low human density have allowed the country to preserve its endemic flora and fauna for centuries, to the extent that some species are still being identified like the Saola, one of the world’s rarest large mammals, only discovered in Laos in 1992.
But recent economic growth coupled with an exploding demand for wildlife and wildlife products have fueled increased pressure on Lao PDR’s native species. Forest encroachment, illegal logging and wildlife poaching have eroded biodiversity. Forest cover has declined dramatically since 1992, the number of wildlife species listed as endangered has increased, and some iconic species like tigers have not been sighted for years. At the same time, Lao PDR has become a gateway for international wildlife trafficking: illegal trafficking of ivory, pangolins and other CITES-listed items have transited through the country due to limited enforcement capacity.
Islamic finance has the potential to play a crucial role in supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the face of significant financing needs for the SDGs, Islamic finance has untapped potential as a substantial and non-traditional source of financing for the SDGs.
The growth of Islamic finance has been rapid at 10-12% annually over the past two decades. By 2015, the industry had surpassed US$1.88 trillion in size. Islamic finance has emerged as an effective tool for financing development worldwide, including in non-Muslim countries, and may prove to be an important contributor towards realizing the SDGs.
The Third Annual Symposium on Islamic Finance was held in Kuala Lumpur in November 2017, co-organized by the World Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and Guidance Financial Group to explore the potential contributions that Islamic Finance can make to achieving the SDGs.
It’s not often that Bank staff members help make history – but we did by assisting Tuvalu in becoming the 192nd member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Created in 1944, the ICAO is a UN organization that sets standards and regulations for civil aviation. ICAO membership is important for Tuvalu, as it is a key prerequisite for the development of international air services.
Better jobs, higher salaries and improved access to basic services – the bright lights of cities seem to promise these and more.
Forty years ago in December, Deng Xiaoping delivered his historic speech "Emancipate the mind, seeking truth from facts and unite as one to face the future." This triggered four decades of reforms that have transformed China into the world’s second largest economy. By some time in the next decade, China will be among the few countries in the world that will have transitioned from low income to high income status since World War II.
Understanding the path China traveled, the circumstances under which historical decisions were made, and their effects on the course of China’s economy will inform future decision makers. Increasingly, this reflection is important to the rest of the world as more and more countries see China as an example to emulate. At the 19th Party Congress in November 2017, China accepted this mantle for the first time since the onset of reforms.
In some ways, China’s reforms were fairly mainstream. The country opened up for trade and foreign investment, liberalized prices, diversified ownership, strengthened property rights, kept inflation under control, and maintained high savings and investment. But this is simplifying the reforms and obfuscates the essence of China’s reforms: the unique steps China took reforming its system are what makes its experience of interest (see the Annex). Its gradual approach to reform was in sharp contrast to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Although often compared, China and other transition countries were simply too different in terms of initial economic conditions, political development, and external environment.
Predominantly rural and among the poorest nations on earth, China was marred by the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the political disruptions during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Integration into the global economy was minimal. Industry was inefficient, but also far less concentrated than in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Perhaps most importantly, because China retained political continuity, the country could focus on an economic and social transition instead of a political one.
Comparison with much of the Latin American reforms also seems out of place. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina were far closer to a market-based system than China, and their reforms—liberalization and macroeconomic stability—were focused on macroeconomic stabilization, whereas China’s reforms aimed for a transformation of the economic system as a whole. So there is no need to juxtapose the “Washington Consensus” with a “Beijing Consensus:” the approaches taken served very different purposes indeed.