Dear India, by doing this 1 thing, you can add 18% to GDP growth

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Updated: April 30, 2018 1:08 PM

After a slow GDP growth year, India is poised to swing back to an above 7% growth rate in FY2019. And, this growth can be further accelerated by 18% just by doing a simple thing -- treating India's women better.

Dear India, just treat your women better and they will add 18% to GDP growthIndia’s GDP growth can be further accelerated by 18% just by doing a simple thing — treating India’s women better. (Image: Reuters)

After a slow GDP growth year, India is poised to swing back to an above 7% growth rate in FY2019. And, this growth can be further accelerated by 18% just by doing a simple thing — treating India’s women better. Yes, just by advancing women’s equality, India could achieve an 18% increase over business-as-usual GDP, or a whopping $770 billion, a McKinsey Global Institute report has projected.

It further noted that India is among six countries in the Asia Pacific that perform poorly in gender equality. India, which performs barely better than worst performer Pakistan on many gender equality indicators, also has the potential to perform the best if the country achieves better women empowerment.

“Building on this momentum and sharpening focus on how women can achieve greater economic empowerment is high potential priorities for India to consider,” the report said. While there is a long way to go before India achieves a considerable female-to-male labour-force participation rate, maternal mortality, financial and digital inclusion, sex ratio at birth, and violence against women, in education, the gender gap is narrowing fast.

India should make a “concerted effort” to expand job opportunities for women through jobs creation and skills training in sectors where women are established, including textiles, garments, healthcare, beauty, IT-enabled services, tourism, electronics assembly, and manufacturing, the report said.

What’s stopping a majority of women from going to work is the scarcity of “quality, affordable childcare” in major Indian cities. At rural-level, a study of women-led villages showed that levels of dissatisfaction among constituents were higher where council representatives were women. This was despite the fact that outcomes on some key services were, on average, better. “Part of tackling this problem is increasing the visibility of female candidates, their track records, and the importance of women’s representation in government,” the report suggested.

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