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Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

Abenomics Is Womenomics

by Rachel Vogelstein Friday, May 29, 2015
Japanese college graduates attend a pep rally in Tokyo designed to boost their morale as they break into the job market, February 2015 (Thomas Peter/Reuters). Japanese college graduates attend a pep rally in Tokyo designed to boost their morale as they break into the job market, February 2015 (Thomas Peter/Reuters).

On his visit to the United States last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about his plan for economic growth, known colloquially as “Abenomics.” His plan comes at a crucial time: Japan’s economic prospects are far from favorable, especially when coupled with the country’s projected demographic decline. By 2060, Japan’s total population is expected to shrink by 30 percent, and the elderly population is expected to grow to a whopping 40 percent. At the same time, Japan’s GDP is forecast to grow just 0.8 percent in 2015, as compared to 3.1 percent in the United States.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: FIFA corruption, chronic hunger, and poverty reduction

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, May 29, 2015
FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media after meeting the presidents of the soccer federations of Israel and Palestine at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich September 3, 2013. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters) FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media after meeting the presidents of the soccer federations of Israel and Palestine at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich September 3, 2013. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

This post marks the launch of a new feature on the Development Channel, “This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each Friday, CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program, will highlight the week’s noteworthy events and articles.

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Holding Sudan to the Gold Standard

by Catherine Powell Thursday, May 21, 2015
Military personnel walk past women in Tabit village in North Darfur, Sudan. The joint peacekeeping mission in the region known as UNAMID visited Tabit in November 2014 to investigate media reports of an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls (Courtesy Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters). Military personnel walk past women in Tabit village in North Darfur, Sudan. The joint peacekeeping mission in the region known as UNAMID visited Tabit in November 2014 to investigate media reports of an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls (Courtesy Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters).

Although it may have slipped from headlines, the conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur has not disappeared. Indeed, the region has seen almost unabated violence for over a decade, notably spiking in January 2013. In February of this year, a Human Rights Watch report shed light on the violence, documenting mass rape and other atrocities committed by forces loyal to the Sudanese government from October 30 to November 1, 2014.

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Gender Equality and Smart U.S. Foreign Assistance

by Rachel Vogelstein Thursday, May 21, 2015
Women carry bricks on their back as they work at a brick factory in Bhaktapur, Nepal. (Courtesy Ahmad Masood/Reuters) Women carry bricks on their back as they work at a brick factory in Bhaktapur, Nepal, May 2015. (Courtesy Ahmad Masood/Reuters)

It has become axiomatic in international development that increasing economic opportunities for women contributes to economic growth. Organizations from the World Bank to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have concluded that women’s participation in the economy is linked to poverty reduction and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Today, the question is not whether women’s economic participation matters—rather, it is how to promote this goal most effectively.

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Expanding Private Sector Engagement in Developing Countries

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, May 18, 2015
A construction worker takes measurements of roofing metal bars of a new hospital under construction in Hoima town, Uganda April 27, 2015 (Courtesy Reuters/James Akena). A construction worker takes measurements of roofing metal bars of a new hospital under construction in Hoima town, Uganda April 27, 2015 (Courtesy Reuters/James Akena).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners, highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Elizabeth Littlefield, president and chief executive officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. governments development finance institution.

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Moving Beyond Utopia to What’s Possible for 2030: Setting Realistic Sustainable Development Goals

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, May 18, 2015
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the plenary of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro June 22, 2012 (Reuters/Paulo Whitaker). Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the plenary of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro June 22, 2012 (Reuters/Paulo Whitaker).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Deirdre White, chief executive officer of PYXERA Global.

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Measuring Opportunities for Digital Payments: The Global Findex 2014

by Guest Blogger for Rachel Vogelstein Friday, May 8, 2015
A worker uses an ATM newly installed in her factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2014 (Courtesy Camilla Fabbri/World Bank). A worker uses an ATM newly installed in her factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2014 (Courtesy Camilla Fabbri/World Bank).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Leora Klapper, lead economist for the World Bank’s development research group.

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Rethinking Accountability at the World Bank

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Thursday, May 7, 2015
Nepali women, clients of Accountability Counsel, challenge a World Bank-funded transmission line endangering their community (Courtesy Komala Ramachandra/ Accountability Counsel). Nepali women, clients of Accountability Counsel, challenge a World Bank-funded transmission line endangering their community (Courtesy Komala Ramachandra/ Accountability Counsel).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Esq., founder and executive director of Accountability Counsel, and Kindra Mohr, Esq., Accountability Counsel’s policy director. Accountability Counsel is a non-profit legal organization that defends the environmental and human rights of communities around the world that are harmed by internationally-financed development projects.

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Mexico’s Fight Against Corruption

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Relatives of the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college hold pictures of the students during a demonstration to demand justice, in Mexico City, November 5, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Tomas Bravo). Relatives of the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college hold pictures of the students during a demonstration to demand justice, in Mexico City, November 5, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Tomas Bravo).

Corruption allegations and revelations cover Mexico’s front pages. Public officials’ penchant for expensive watches, use of government helicopters for personal errands, and a string of expensive houses facilitated by preferred private contractors have incensed not only Mexico’s chattering classes but also the broader public. 2014 opinion polls conducted by the Pew Research Center show corruption ranks second only to crime in citizen concerns.

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Helping Afghan Women Help Themselves

by Catherine Powell Friday, May 1, 2015
Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, hands out leaflets during her August 2005 election campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. Barakzai later survived a suicide bombing attack in December 2014 (Courtesy Zohra Bensemra/Reuters). Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, hands out leaflets during her August 2005 election campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. Barakzai later survived a suicide bombing attack in December 2014 (Courtesy Zohra Bensemra/Reuters).

Progress toward women’s rights and empowerment cannot be made without actors on the ground willing to fight for it. This is particularly true in Afghanistan as the United States begins to transition out of its on-the-ground presence and the Afghan government takes on more responsibility for security and stability. Local women’s rights movements will be more important than ever in ensuring Afghan women and girls maintain the strides they have made since the fall of the Taliban.

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