NITI Aayog CEO says doubling women workforce in India can drive GDP growth

By: |
November 02, 2018 4:57 PM

Only 24% of women in India work, compared with 48% across the globe. Therefore, to achieve this, there is a need to push women into employment.

Amitabh Kant said that India needs to create employment for women, especially in rural areas and eastern parts of the nation. (Reuters)

Indian economy can grow at the rate of 9% to 10% if there is a gender parity in the country, and the share of women workforce is increased to 48% from the current 24%, NITI Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant said. “Nation can grow at a rate of 9% to 10% only if there is gender parity,” Kant said while speaking during the 7th N J Yasaswy Memorial Lecture at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education. Yasaswy as the founding member of ICFAI University and a finance and investment writer.

Kant added that the country needs to create employment for women, especially in rural areas and eastern parts of the nation, PTI reported. However, education and nutrition are imperative to achieve this. In India, only 24% of women work, compared with 48% across the globe, and therefore to achieve this, there is a need to push women into employment.

In the World Bank’s 2017 India Development Report, India ranked at 120th among 131 countries on female workforce participation. Earlier in 2015, a study by McKinsey Global also found that India could boost its GDP by 16-60% by 2025 if it simply enables women to participate in the economy at par with men, as the under-representation of women in the workforce is not only a social loss but also an economic loss.

Also, according to a recent study by a non-profit organisation Catalyst Org, the labour force participation rate for women in India was 28.7% in India compared with 82% for men, despite educational gains. Also, raising women workforce participation by 10 percentage points could add about $700 billion to GDP of India by 2015, which is an increase of 1.4%.

Meanwhile, while talking about the infrastructure in the country, Kant said that there is a mismatch between demand and supply in the country and a challenge to create a world-clear infrastructure like neighbouring country China.

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