India needs to boost women participation in Jobs: World Bank

Businesswomen shaking hands

World Bank advised India to boost women’s participation in the job market. In order to achieve its ambition of double-digit growth, it is must for India to reverse the falling trend of women’s participation in jobs.

India is among the world’s one of the fastest growing economies, but the country has one of the lowest rates of female employment, a trend that has worsened over the last decade.

In its latest report, marking it as a “serious concern”, the World Bank revealed that only 27 percent of Indian women were working or actively looking for a job that was holding back economic growth.

There is a downfall in female participation in India’s workforce since 2007, particularly in rural areas. One of the many reasons behind it is the women are staying in education for longer. Moreover, only 34 per cent of those with a degree are working while others are staying out of the workplace, the bank said.

“(A) higher level of women participation in the economy can help propel India closer to double digit growth,” said country director of the World Bank Junaid Ahmad.

Strong fundamentals of India’s economy kept the inflation under control and restrict the impact of “Demonetisation”, the Word Bank said in its report. Strong monsoon last year had boosted agriculture and rural consumption, estimating growth at 6.8 percent for the financial year ended March 31, 2017, the report added.

According to the report, “Goods and Services Tax” is due to be introduced on July 1 would that will increase state revenues in the long term and “yield substantial growth dividends from higher efficiencies”.

“India’s female labour force participation rate is uniquely low for all levels of education,” said senior World Bank economist Frederico Gil Sander.

“Sixty five percent of Indian women with college degrees are not working, whereas in Bangladesh 41 percent and in Indonesia and Brazil only 25 percent of women graduates are not working.”

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