Women Could Boost Asian Economies by $4.5 Trillion, Report Says
Gender inequality is holding back workforce in Bangladesh, India, China
By Joanna Prisco, for Global Citizen
Asian-Pacific countries could stand to grow their economies by approximately $4.5 trillion by 2025, according to a new report by McKinsey Global Institute.
The major obstacle holding them back? Gender inequality.
“Asia-Pacific is arguably the most dynamic region in the world," the report stated. But women in many countries there, such as Bangladesh, India and China, face unequal treatment and limited opportunities to advance in the workplace due to “extremely high” gender gap.
While China, the largest country in the region, has made strides in recent years, noted the report, the country still lags behind in placing women in leadership positions.
Meanwhile, neighbors such as the Philippines, New Zealand and Singapore, were championed by the report for achieving greater gender equality at work.
"From an economic perspective, trying to grow without enabling the full potential of women is like fighting with one hand tied behind one's back," the report said.
The McKinsey Global Institute urged Asia-Pacific policy makers to not only increase the number of women in the workforce, but also boost the number of hours women currently work and offer them more productive roles.
This will require an active effort by Asia-Pacific countries to change attitudes on the role of women in society and improve access to childcare.
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