Gender inequality is an urgent global problem with enormous ramifications not only for the lives of girls and women, but also more generally for human development, labor markets, productivity, GDP growth, and inequality.

As well as being a social issue, gender inequality is a major and critical economic challenge. Research by McKinsey Institute (McKinsey Global Institute - MGI) show that the global economy suffers when women (who account for around 50% of the world's economically active population) do not reach their full economic potential.

In the report "The power of parity: How advancing women's equality can add $12 trillion to global growth", launched in September 2015, focuses on the economic implications of inequality between men and women and shows that, in a scenario where women play an equal role to men in the labor markets, 28 trillion dollars would be added to the world's GDP by 2025. In this maximum potential scenario, Latin America alone would contribute almost 3 trillion dollars (2.6 trillion).

MGI has identified ten "impact zones" where effective action could move more than 75% of women affected by gender inequality closer to parity. The global impact zones are: unrealized economic potential, time spent in unpaid work, few legal rights, political under-representation and violence against women. The five regional impact zones are: low levels of participation in high-skilled jobs, low levels of maternal and reproductive health, unequal levels of education, financial and digital exclusion and child vulnerability,

ELAS Fund: for economic autonomy, entrepreneurship and an end to poverty for women and girls

The ELAS Fund, which has the promotion of economic autonomy, entrepreneurship and the end of poverty for women and girls as one of its investment areas, understands the importance of the business world for social transformation and the construction of a fairer and more equal culture.

"Women make up half the world's population and they can't live without them. With their participation, the country's economic development will accelerate," explains Kaká Verdade, executive coordinator of the ELAS Fund.

That's why ELAS is a partner of the Women of Brazil group and the Women's 360 Movement Association, initiatives that advocate the inclusion of women in order to expand economic and social development.