48. The British government plans to sell out part of the student loan book. Disposing of government assets is a risky business. Despite his claim to have “saved the world” in 2008 by averting the collapse of the British banking industry, many voters instead remember Gordon Brown as the dupe who flogged Britain’s gold when prices were at a historical low.
Now Jo Johnson, the universities minister, must hope for better luck. On February 6th he set out a plan to sell a slice of the student debt held by the government. It is a pioneering move: Britain is the first country to hawk income-contingent student loans to private investors.
49. Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. We can only re-establish trust in institutions, rebuild global solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspectives by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all. In recent decades,
we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas. But these gains are far from complete or consistent. Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power. We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. Only when
we see women’s rights as our common objective, a route to change that benefits everyone, will we begin to shift the balance. Increasing the number of women decision-makers is fundamental. We now have gender parity among those who lead our teams around the world, and the highest-ever numbers of women in senior management. We will continue to build on this progress. But women still face major obstacles in accessing and exercising power. As the World Bank found, just six economies give women and men equal legal rights in areas that affect their work. And if current trends continue, it will take 170 years to close the economic gender gap.