Indias national income would increase by 27 per cent if the participation of women in the workforce matches the level of men, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said. Delivering a speech on Womens Empowerment: An Economic Game Changer in Los Angeles, 60-year-old Lagarde said equal pay and better economic opportunities for women boost economic growth and create a bigger pie for everyone to share.
â€œTo put it differently: if you discourage half the population from fully participating in the labour market, you are essentially behaving like an airline pilot who shuts down half his engines in mid-flight. Sure, your plane will likely continue to fly, but it would be such a crazy thing to do,â€ Lagarde said.
Noting that across the globe women were still facing a triple-disadvantage and are less likely than men to have a paid job, Lagarde said only half of the worldâ€™s working-age women were employed.
â€œIf they do find paid employment, it is more likely to be in the informal sector. And if they eventually get a job in the formal sector, they earn, on average, three-quarters as much as men â€” even with the same level of education, and in the same occupation,â€ she said.