With an ID in Hand, Women Have More Economic Opportunities

  • Date Posted: February 16, 2023
  • Authors: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development
  • Organizations/Projects: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development

With a legal identification - like a passport or a national ID card - women and girls have a wider range of economic opportunities. Without one, women generally remain in the informal sector without legal protection, access to formal financial services, government entrepreneurship programmes, or the ability to bid on public tenders. It is almost impossible to, for example, register a business or secure land tenure without proof of ID. However, with an ID in hand, women can secure work in the formal sector, register and grow their businesses, and secure property rights. This presents an enormous opportunity; according to McKinsey & Company, “If women match men’s participation in the workforce […] the additional opportunity could be $28 trillion, or an additional 26% of annual global GDP in 2025.” Obtaining legal identification in emerging economies can be complicated for women who are affected by low literacy levels, lack of governmental services in rural areas, high costs, discriminatory laws, and gendered social norms that impact their ability to engage in administrative processes on their own.