Improving women’s participation in the workforce will boost India’s income by 27%

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The World Bank in its latest report said just 27% of Indian women are working or actively looking for a job, a matter of “serious concern” as it is holding back economic growth with one of the lowest rates of female employment. Around 65% of Indian women with college degrees are not working, whereas in Bangladesh 41% and in Indonesia and Brazil only 25 percent of women graduates are not working.”India must reverse a trend of falling women’s participation in the job market if it is to achieve its ambition of double-digit growth,

India must reverse a trend of falling women’s participation in the job market if it is to achieve its ambition of double-digit growth,

There are many reasons for this state of affairs. Gender discrimination in workplaceslack of access to facilities such as childcareneglecting girl children’s education or health etc. A lot of work done by women is invisible, not measured and recognized. That is partly because they are staying in education for longer, but even college-educated women are staying out of the workplace—just 27% of those with a degree are working, as per IMF Report

Women tend to drop out of the workplace because of a lack of flexibility in available career options for women. As they advance in their careers, they find that they have to balance increasing workplace responsibility with increasing family responsibility like the household, aging parents or growing  children. They end up with two jobs and find that they cannot cope.

 Full participation in the workplace cannot take place without gender parity in society.  Economic development enables countries to close gender gaps, but progress on four indicators in particular—education level, financial and digital inclusion, legal protection and the reduction of unpaid care work—could help accelerate progress. The unpaid Child care, caring for the elderly, cooking and cleaning care work of women could be valued at $10 trillion of output per year—an amount that is roughly equivalent to 13% of global GDP.

The next decade holds the potential to empower women in a historic way. More than this, it holds the potential to boost growth, raise overall per capita income, tackle poverty, and reduce income inequality for people all over the world.

 



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