India’s US$ 5T Economy Dream Needs More Women Participation in Workforce
Indu Perepu
In the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index India was ranked at 112th position from among 153 countries in the world. India slipped four positions from its previous ranking of 108 in the 2019 index.

The Global Gender Gap Report was brought out by the World Economic Forum every year, to create awareness about the challenges posed by gender gap. The report claimed that gender parity has a bearing on whether or not societies and economies thrive. The report benchmarked countries on factors like economic participation, education, health & survival and political empowerment. Seven European countries featured among the top ten in the Global Gender Gap Index. The others included New Zealand,Nicaragua and Rwanda.

India, a developing country, ranked among the bottom five in the world in health (150) and economic participation (149). It showed a dismal picture of the country whose ranking slipped from 98th in 2006, when the report was first published. The report stated that economic opportunities for women in India were among the lowest in the world, and representation of women in company boards was low at 13.8%. India’s neighboring countries ranked much better, with Bangladesh in the 50th position followed by Nepal (101st), Sri Lanka (102nd) and China (106th).

With India aiming to become a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024-25, the country needs to grow at over 8% per annum for over three decades. Such growth is not possible without increasing the participation of women in the workforce. India ranking poorly on the Global Gender Gap Index meant that major share of the population is not working, and women are not adequately represented in the workforce. Building the gender gap is of utmost importance to make the country competitive globally.

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