How Can Women Affect The Economy
India is a dominant force in Asia’s economic growth and home to the second largest workforce in the world -over 500 million people, expected to escalate tremendously by 2020. According to an ideal economy, what many may term as smart economics, the workforce should be consisting of 50% women but on the contrary the workforce in India comprises of only 25.3% women in 2010. More stats definitely do not provide a strong alibi for gender equality.
Despite the progressive growth in federal constitutions and an extraordinary track record of economic growth since the early 1990’s, the participation of women in India’s economy is still disappointingly low. So, does gender equality contribute to the economic growth? If yes, how will it make our growth-obsessed policy-makers focus on gender equality?
In women, the world has at its disposal, the most significant and yet largely untapped potential for any kind of development. The Luisa Natali and Naila Kabeer study in 2012 collated data from many countries over different periods of time, these researches gave evidences that greater gender equality in employment contributed positively to the economy.
The increase in participation helps the economy on both the Supply and Demand front. It adds to the size of the working population on the supply front, which promotes division of labour and greater specialization. On the demand side, it supports the economy by generation of additional demand for a range of varied products and services.
Another impact of having a larger of number of women in workforce is indirect, as shown by studies women tend to invest more in the education, nutrition and health of their kids, which, in turn develops the future resources.
But before anything else we need to ascertain the factors that keep women away from the workforce. These factors can be varying from personal reasons to security. Fear of sexual assault, molestation, unsuitable working hours, distances from workplace, extremely unfavourable working conditions are few these reasons. There is an urgent need to solve these issues to improve the number of women in workforce, which will further impact the economy.
In the coming years the influence of women on the global economy whether as producers, employers, employees, entrepreneurs and consumers is going to be massive. If their skills can be effectively leveraged in the coming decade it can bring a colossal change in the falling GDP growth.