Better gender equality will add $770 billion to India’s GDP by 2025
More than 70% of the potential GDP opportunity comes from increasing women’s participation in the labour force by 10 percentage points, said a report by McKinsey Global Institute.
Jun 19, 2018 / 06:11 PM IST
India can add $770 billion to its annual economic output by 2025 by providing equal opportunities to women in the workforce, a new report has said. This represents an 18% increase over business-as-usual gross domestic product (GDP), the best in Asia-Pacific, said the report by McKinsey Global Institute.
A lion’s share of the increase in output will come from just adding more women to the workforce. More than 70% of the potential GDP opportunity comes from increasing women’s participation in the labour force by 10 percentage points, the report claimed. The rest will come from an increase in working hours and improved productivity.
Currently, only 27 out of every 100 women who can be counted in the labour force are actively employed or looking for work. Consequently, women make up only 25% of India’s labour force and contribute to 18% of its GDP.
While India has more gender equality than neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan, it lags in the Asia-Pacific average, the study added. It said that a remarkable change is required if India wants to tap into this potential.
The report has clear suggestions on to increase women participation in the labour force. It has suggested that the government should make concerted efforts to expand job opportunities for women. It has called for increasing women’s access to technology and financial products. Digital inclusion of women will accelerate gender equality, the report said.
Secondly, it has suggested that India could reduce the time women spend on unpaid care work by filling gaps in essential infrastructure, including childcare, and promoting labour-saving technologies such as clean cooking stoves. This will reduce the time that women spend in unpaid house work and increase labour force participation. Indian women do 10 times more household and care work than men.
In these areas, “India has already made progress,” like providing more access to clean water, improving financial inclusion and providing household infrastructure.
“Building this momentum and sharpening focus on how women can achieve greater economic empowerment are arguably high potential priorities for India,” the report added.