The Business Times

Lagarde favours affirmative action to boost 'womenomics'

Otherwise, IMF head says, 'we could wait forever for change'

Published Sun, Sep 14, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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THE best way to ensure that women secure key posts in government and in the private sector is through the introduction of formal "quota" systems, Christine Lagarde - the first woman to become managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - declared in Tokyo over the weekend during the World Assembly of Women.

A keynote speaker at the international event, Ms Lagarde said this in answer to a question from a Singapore delegate: that while she had initially been opposed to affirmative action for securing key positions for women in the public and private sectors, she had now changed her mind. Otherwise, "we could wait forever for change".

A major area affecting women's empowerment is law and institutions, Ms Lagarde noted. Citing an IMF study spanning 100 countries, she pointed out that the preliminary findings are that gender gaps are "lower when men and women are treated equally under the law", including in the area of economic opportunity.

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