(Reuters) - Here are a few facts about women in the work place and in politics:
* A direct link can be made between increased female labor participation and growth. United Nations estimates show that if women’s paid employment rates were to equal men’s, U.S. GDP would be 9 percent higher — the euro zone’s would be 13 percent higher, and Japan’s would increase 16 percent.
* Women’s nominal wages are 17 percent lower than men’s. Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property, UNICEF says.
* The global financial crisis is expected to plunge a further 22 million women into unemployment, which would lead to a female unemployment rate of 7.4 percent compared to 7 percent for male unemployment.
* The proportion of women parliamentarians at the national level has increased by 8 percent from 1998 to 2008, to the current global average of 18.4 percent, compared to an increase of just 1 percent in the 20 years after 1975. However, women are still outnumbered 4 to 1 in legislatures around the world, the U.N. Development Fund for Women, or UINFEM says.
Sources: Reuters/UNIFEM-women’s fund at the U.N./U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/ILO/UNDP.
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit