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More women work force in economy can help India get closer to double digit growth: World Bank

Terming the low female labor force participation as a serious concern, Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India said higher level of women participation in the economy can help propel India closer to double digit growth.

BT Online        Last Updated: May 30, 2017  | 17:14 IST
More women work force in economy can help India get closer to double digit growth: World Bank

A World Bank report released on Monday highlighted the low and falling participation of women in the labour market.

"India has among the lowest female labor force participation rates (LFPRs) in the world well  below what would be expected for its level of income and what is observed in neighbors such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal," the report said.

Terming the low female labor force participation as a serious concern, Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India said higher level of women participation in the economy can help propel India closer to double digit growth.

Surprisingly, India's female LFPR declined a further 10 percentage points between 2004-05 and 2011-12. Low female LFPRs impose constraints on a country's growth, the empowerment of its women, and the outcomes for its children, the report said.

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Pointing to a low female LFPR as a drag on GDP growth and an obstacle towards achieving a higher growth path, the report said that India needs to create safe, flexible and well-paying jobs for a large number of women who are currently not in the labor market.

The World Bank said nearly two-thirds of Indian women with college degrees are without jobs. The unemployment rate for educated graduates is far higher than that in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Brazil.

Giving an estimate on the rise in GDP growth if India closed half the female LFPR gap with Nepal, the report suggested that GDP growth could accelerate from 7.4 per cent currently to over 9 per cent.

The report also published Female Entrepreneurship Index where India ranks 70 out of 77 countries.

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