In this remarkably comprehensive debut, University of Oxford business professor emeritus Scott argues that “barriers to women’s economic inclusion” have created “a shadow economy unique to females” and that removing these obstacles will “put a stop to some of the world’s costliest evils, while building prosperity for everyone.” Among other barriers faced by women, Scott lists toxic environments at American universities and restrictions on freedom of movement for married women in Bangladesh. Citing statistics from the World Bank, she contends that child marriage costs the world an average of $4 trillion per year. Scott details how men dominate the agricultural industry in Africa, leaving women to “squeez income from a small plot close to home”; posits that flaws in maternity leave and childcare policies have contributed to population decline in the West; and recounts her own work in Ghana distributing sanitary pads to encourage girls to attend school rather than stay at home during menstruation. Closing with practical tips for making improvements on the global, national, and individual levels, Scott delivers a persuasive call to action enriched by hard data and personal experience. Feminists, economists, and policy makers should consider this impressive and impassioned account required reading. (May)
"Scott’s narrative makes clear that the whole population, not just half, matters for the global economy." Heather Boushey, The New York Times Book Review
"An impassioned account of the personal and societal costs of denying economic opportunity to women." Foreign Affairs
"What [Scott] brings to this relatively well-worn argument is a global perspective, drawing on often fascinating vignettes from the African and Bangladeshi villages in which she has worked, but also a rallying cry against blaming women for things that are not their fault . . . Those who have had more than enough “fun” feminist books – frothy you-go-girl stuff by celebrity authors, or compendiums of inspiring women down the ages – may well find [The Double X Economy] a tonic." Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian (Book of the day)
"A searing analysis of gender bias in the global economy with an agenda for reform . . . The Double X Economy is vital in both senses of the word: lively and essential . . .it should leave one feeling shocked and shaking with rage." Jane Robinson, TLS
"Like Virginia Woolf before her, Scott identifies female economic empowerment as the key to liberation . . . the coronavirus outbreak has made Scott’s message more urgent than ever . . . a breath of fresh, if infuriating, air. In a world where so many of us stick safely to criticising the status quo, it’s heartening to read someone willing to offer viable solutions. The question is, will any of us listen?" Caroline Criado Perez, The Observer (London)
"[An] in-depth, highly revealing analysis . . . Scott backs her arguments with hard data and numerous charts and graphs, showing unequivocally that women are not being treated fairly regarding nearly every aspect of the global economy. Fortunately, Scott shares plenty of easily implementable ideas to change the situation. . . A precise, eye-opening account that shows what needs to change to make the world a more equitable environment for all." Kirkus (starred review)
"Remarkably comprehensive . . . Closing with practical tips for making improvements on the global, national, and individual levels, Scott delivers a persuasive call to action enriched by hard data and personal experience. Feminists, economists, and policy makers should consider this impressive and impassioned account required reading." Publishers Weekly
"[Scott assembles] a breathtaking array of data and case studies . . . a thorough, authoritative rebuke to the sexist exclusion of women from financial systems across the world." Booklist
“Linda Scott shines a light on women’s essential and often invisible contributions to our global economywhile combining insight, analysis, and interdisciplinary data to make a compelling and actionable case for unleashing women’s economic power.” Melinda Gates, author of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
“The Double X Economy is a powerful presentation on the costs of gender inequality for all of society. Linda Scott makes a strong evidence-based case interspersed with compelling real life examples from around the globe for women’s economic empowerment. If we want to grow economies and inclusive prosperity long into the future, there is a solution staring us in the face: unleash the power of women’s full economic participation. As Linda Scott shows, this is the great imperative of our time.” Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women's Issues
"The Double X Economy is a thought-provoking, data-rich argument for what society and world economies sacrifice by excluding women. This is a crucial book on a crucial subject." Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
Gender equality has been a long-fought battle with lots of scholarship behind it. Scott (entrepreneurship and innovation, Oxford Univ.) adds to the mix with a deep dive into the historic economic exclusion of women and the problems—both for women and for the global economy—it has caused. Scott begins by laying out the basics of the Double X Economy concept, weaving in her own experiences that propelled her forward into this study. The bulk of the book examines the multiple impediments (work, salary inequity, lack of property ownership, capital credit, participation in global markets, and governance) and constraints (limited mobility, reproductive vulnerability, the ever-present threat of violence) that keep women from participating equally. Scott closes by offering insight and recommendations for engaging and benefiting from the Double X Economy, highlighting five priorities for the United States, three areas of focus for the world, and six areas of impact for individuals. Though the book is without question well-researched, larger and full-color illustrations would add to the impact and readability of the material. VERDICT Weighty subject matter with an edge. Will appeal to fans of social commentary and those interested in women's and global economic issues.—Sara Holder, Univ. of Illinois Libs., Champaign
The roles women play—and should play—in the world’s economy.
“Everywhere, the barriers to women’s economic inclusion reach beyond work and salary to encompass property ownership, capital, credit, and markets,” writes Scott, the founder of the Global Business Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment. When these issues are combined with sexual harassment and violence, women find themselves disadvantaged at every level, which in turn creates an imbalance in the world’s economies. In this in-depth, highly revealing analysis, the author dives headfirst into the multiple layers of hindrance that prohibit women from obtaining equal status with men. These issues can be simple, like the lack of feminine hygiene products for young girls in developing African nations. Without them, they are unable to attend school, which puts them behind their male counterparts, leading to a high dropout rate, and “once a community knew that a girl had menstruated, men would begin following her to and from school”—a trend that often leads to sexual violence. Furthermore, women own less than 20% of global land, so safety and security are often in men’s hands. If women choose to become mothers, they often leave the workforce—or never enter it in the first place—in order to raise their children, which puts them in a dependent position. Throughout, Scott backs her arguments with hard data and numerous charts and graphs, showing unequivocally that women are not being treated fairly regarding nearly every aspect of the global economy. Fortunately, Scott shares plenty of easily implementable ideas to change the situation—e.g., using women’s purchasing power to boycott companies that refuse to provide equal pay. The author’s assessment of the current situation is bleak, but with her suggestions, the future could be brighter for everyone, not just women.
A precise, eye-opening account that shows what needs to change to make the world a more equitable environment for all.