Gender Parity to Boost India’s Economic Growth
World Economy

Gender Parity to Boost India’s Economic Growth

Terming gender-gap in Indian job market as higher than most other countries, IMF today pitched for greater investment in infrastructure and enhanced social spending to bring in larger number of women in labor force.
As per a recent IMF study, India’s GDP can expand by 27% if the number of women workers increases to the same level as that of men.
This is much higher than the positive impact a 50-50 gender parity in workforce can have on many other economies, PTI reported.
“The study refers to the GDP gain that would materialize if the labor force participation gap between men and women is closed. This gender gap in labor force participation is much larger in India than in most other countries,” said Kalpana Kochhar, Deputy Director of IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.
“Specifically, this gender gap is around 50% in India, compared with an average gap of 12% in OECD countries. Since the gap is much larger in India, the economic gain from closing it is much larger compared with other countries,” Kochhar told PTI in an interview.  She further said that delivering such a large increase in women participation will require work along many dimensions, including increased labor market flexibility, greater investment in infrastructure, and enhanced social spending.
When asked about the potential benefits in terms of GDP growth that India can realize by removing the financial and employment exclusion on parameters like caste and religion, Kochhar said, “the IMF has not done any work on this issue beyond looking at gender gaps”.
On G-20 pledge to reduce the gap in women’s labor force participation by 25% by 2025, she said it was a very positive step.
“Progress towards this goal will take time as it will require policy efforts along many dimensions. Policies to raise female participation in the labor force include revising tax codes to remove disincentives to work, providing high quality and affordable child care and well-designed parental leave policies.
“In developing economies, better infrastructure in rural areas and increased expenditure on the education of girls and women will help. More equal laws and reducing discrimination will also be needed to meet this goal,” she added.


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