Prepared for the Women Deliver 2019 Conference by Population Council and Women Deliver, this report presents findings from one of the first multi-country analyses to examine the short- and long-term impacts of having a child before 18 on employment and monetary compensation (cash earnings). Cash earnings (as opposed to in-kind payments and unpaid work) play an important role in economic empowerment, as research suggests women receiving cash are more likely to be able to make decisions about their own healthcare and education.
The study dives further into women’s economic empowerment by analyzing married women’s sole control over her cash earnings. A woman’s power to make her own decision over her health, income, and life choices is a marker of empowerment and a core elements of gender equality.
Fully meeting contraceptive needs in developing countries and providing comprehensive care for all pregnant women
and newborns would reduce unintended pregnancies, unplanned births, and induced abortions, leading to an estimated 73% decrease in maternal deaths and 80% in newborn deaths. Fully closing the gender gap in workplaces would add up to $28 trillion (or 26 percent) in annual gross domestic product by 2025.
It has been estimated that every $1 invested in meeting the unmet need for contraceptives could yield as much as $60-100 in long-term benefits from economic growth. Despite these benefits, the world is far from meeting the sexual and reproductive needs of girls and women—and from closing the economic gender gap.