cover image The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Women’s Empowerment

The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Women’s Empowerment

Linda Scott. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-374-14262-9

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[e] 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. (July)