Today is International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s achievements and an opportunity to highlight the status of women around the world. International Women’s Day is not just about women, but it’s about the role men can and have played in championing gender equality. The role of men can be an important lever for change, particularly in patriarchal societies.
A key agent for change and women’s empowerment in much of the developing world is linked to a country’s relative level of economic freedom. Countries that implement free market policies essentially enable women to make their own decisions and guarantee their financial independence.
Along with the Wall Street Journal, The Heritage Foundation has been measuring economic freedom for the past 20 years and has found a striking correlation between economic freedom and gender equality.
Heritage’s Director of the Center for International Trade and Economics (CITE) Ambassador Terry Miller said at the United Nations Commission on the Status of the Women that the “strong relationships between economic freedom, economic growth, and gender equality show clearly that we need to embrace an ideology of economic liberation for women, one that frees them from economic domination and economic repression.”