Economist: Close Cayman’s gender gap to boost economy

Cayman Islands women are a significant under-used resource that could fuel further growth in the islands economy, according to the keynote speaker at the annual tourism conference last month.

Economist Marla Dukharan told delegates at the Westin resort that closing the gender gap could provide a genuine economic boost to the Cayman Islands, particularly in the tourism industry.

Though women in the Caribbean have surpassed men in benchmarks for health and education, she said they were still not participating in the economy to the same extent.

“We have a real problem in the Caribbean,” she said.

“We have closed the gender gap in education and health, but women are not paid as much and we don’t achieve the level of decision-making positions that men achieve. What we end up being is a huge under-utilized resource in this region. It is a resource I think we can’t afford to waste.”