The Benefits Of Working Women

The Dish

The latest study (pdf) from the International Monetary Fund indicates that persistent gender inequality in employment “is bad news for everyone, because it translates into lower economic growth – amounting to as much as 27% of per capita GDP in some countries”:

The potential gains from a larger female workforce are striking.

In Egypt, for example, if the number of female workers were raised to the same level as that of men, the country’s GDP could grow by 34%. In the United Arab Emirates, GDP would expand by 12%, in Japan by 9%, and in the United States by 5%. According to a recent study based on data from the International Labor Organization, of the 865 million women worldwide who could contribute more fully to their economies, 812 million live in emerging and developing countries.

Raising women’s labor-market participation rate boosts economic performance in a number of ways. For…

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Iowa grants gun licenses to blind people (America week)

I initially thought this was another example of crazy US gun laws  but actually I’m not so sure about.

This Guardian article on the subject quotes this rather reasonable perspective from a blind activist:

The fact is, US law says anyone has the right to bear arms, and if that’s the case, then, in the interests of full equality, that should include blind people.”

But isn’t this dangerous? Potentially, says Macrae, pointing out that it’s dangerous for anyone to carry a gun. “I wouldn’t say it was more dangerous. I’d say we would have to be more responsible in the way in which we behaved with those weapons, discharged them and so on – the person would need to behave responsibly, rather than it being on society to say: ‘Oh, sorry guys, this is too dangerous, so we’re going to exclude you.’

The article cites cases where a blind person might be able to use a gun responsibly for example on a firing range or when hunting with a companion.

I don’t know what I think about this: should I be worried if disabled people are denied a right that able bodied people shouldn’t have either.

Hat-Tip: HB

Berlin still split into East and West


This map is from a BBC news article on the German elections which notes that:

the former route of the Berlin Wall divides the city into voting choices. In the constituencies of the East, voters chose Die Linke (The Left party), descended from the old communist party.

In the West, they voted for the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats (CDU), both formerly West German parties.

In a few locales in the centre of Berlin, on either side of what was the Wall, the Greens came out on top – and closer examination reveals these to be areas which have been gentrified heavily, with large numbers of young, professional incomers.

The author suggests this is because:

There was no great cross-border migration in the city after 1989. People had security of tenure in their flats, and they stayed put. Berlin had a large concentration of members of the Socialist Unity Party (as the communist party in East Germany was called), as well as the civil servants and Stasi operatives who kept the communist state running, and they have remained in their areas and transferred their loyalty to Die Linke.

Though he also notes that in general the CDU performed reasonably well in the old GDR perhaps because many voters their have a personal loyalty to Ms Merkel, who also grew up in East Germany.