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DATE: October 5, 2016

DAY: Wednesday

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

LOCATION: George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium

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Achieving comprehensive economic development and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require a decisive challenge to existing barriers to women’s economic equality. With that in mind, the UN Secretary General recently established a High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment to address the most persistent gender gaps that “constrain women’s rights and hinder economic growth and productivity.” The heads of both the IMF and the World Bank are members, along with prominent voices from civil society, academia, and business.

Using recommendations from the High Level Panel and recent IMF research as a background, this session will explore how macroeconomic policy should be used as a tool to advance women’s economic empowerment and equality. It will look at what political leaders and international institutions such as the IMF should do differently to achieve the SDGs (and especially SDG No. 5 on gender equality), looking at the four focus areas of the UN High Level Panel: (i) eliminating legal barriers to female economic empowerment, (ii) addressing the care economy, (iii) reducing gender pay gaps, and (iv) expanding opportunities for women who work informally.

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Making Macroeconomics Work for Women

Making Macroeconomics Work for Women


Moderator: Sheila MacVicar

Sheila MacVicar is an award-winning anchor and senior TV correspondent. She recently hosted Al Jazeera America's foreign policy show Compass and was a senior correspondent for America Tonight reporting mostly on intelligence and social issues. Originally from Montreal, she's been a correspondent for more than three decades. She first joined the CBC where she was co-host of a primetime current affairs magazine, before working as a foreign correspondent for ABC News, CNN and CBS News. Her reporting has earned her many accolades, including three Emmys, a Peabody and a duPont Award.

Panelist: Claver Gatete

Claver Gatete is the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda. Until his appointment to the Finance Ministry, he served as Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda since May 2011. He is not new to the Ministry which he served in as Secretary General and Secretary to the Treasury from 2003 to 2005. From 2001 to 2003, he worked in the Office of the President as a Personal Representative of the President on NEPAD Steering Committee; Coordinator of the National African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), member of the APR National Commission; and Member of the NEPAD’s African Partnership Forum (APF). Before joining the Office of the President, Claver Gatete worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a National Economist.

Panelist: Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer, is Chair of the ActionAid International Board. She is also the African Union’s Goodwill Ambassador for Ending Child Marriage and recently served as the General Secretary of the World Young Women’s Christian Association. Ms. Gumbonzvanda worked for over 10 years with the UN, as UNIFEM Regional Director, and as UNICEF Human Rights Officer in Liberia and Zimbabwe and recently served in the UN Commission on Information and Accountability on Women and Children’s Health. She served as a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Women. She is the Founder and Chief Executive of Rozaria Memorial Trust and an active member of women’s organizations including the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association.

Panelist: James Heintz

James Heintz is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts. He is one of the authors of the UN Women’s flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights. He has worked on projects with international institutions such as the Human Development Report Office, the ILO, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNDP, and the South African Human Rights Commission. His policy research has included work in Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, the Gambia, Madagascar, and South Africa. His current work examines labor market and poverty outcomes; economic policy choices, and human rights; fertility, family formation, and macroeconomics; and informal employment.

Panelist: Kalpana Kochhar

Kalpana Kochhar is the Director of the Human Resources Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Prior to taking this position, she held several senior positions in the Asia Pacific Department, the Research Department, and the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department. She was also Chief Economist for the South Asia Region at the World Bank. She has spearheaded the Fund’s work on gender and is currently the Deputy to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in the UN high-level forum on women economic empowerment. Ms. Kochhar’s research interests and publications have been on emerging markets, gender and inequality issues, structural reforms, and regional integration in South Asia.

Panelist: David Lipton

David Lipton has been First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since 2011. Before coming to the Fund, he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the White House. Previously, he served as Under Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury.

Panelist: Elizabeth Shuler

Elizabeth Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO, one of three top-level officers for the largest federation of labor unions in the U.S. The first-ever woman elected to the position in 2009, she was also the youngest officer ever to sit on the federation's Executive Council. Prior to that, she was part of the leadership of the Electrical Workers (IBEW). Ms. Shuler has been at the forefront of progressive labor initiatives, such as green job programs and the fight for workers' rights. She represents the AFL-CIO on various boards, including the Women's Committee at the International Trade Union Confederation.