WASHINGTON, 22nd September, 2016 (WAM) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will continue to work with its member countries to ensure that women play a larger role in the economy in order to boost growth, reduce income inequality, and support economic diversification, said Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF.

Lagarde announced specific actions on women’s economic empowerment following her participation in a United Nations (UN) High-Level Panel on “Women Economic Empowerment” on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

“It gives me great pleasure to participate in the official launch of the commitments and work of the UN High-Level Panel on Women Economic Empowerment. I am heartened that the world is working together to promote greater female participation in the workforce,” Lagarde stated.

“During the discussion, I had the privilege of announcing five specific actions by the IMF towards closing the gender gap. These are five commitments that we promise to deliver,” she said.

Lagarde said, firstly, the IMF had pledged to further strengthen their policy advice and analysis to support the female labour force participation. Then, they promised to continue their work to address gender data gaps, with the aim of supporting the financial inclusion of women.

They were also committed to pushing forward their work on gender budgeting, which included policy advice to member countries, she said.

The IMF would also build on recent research with the objective of helping to break down the discriminatory effects of legal restrictions, and were committed to undertake further research on the links between gender inequality and growth, and the impact of policies on gender inequality, she added.