World Bank Economist Emphasizes: India Requires 8% Growth and Increased Female Workforce for Developed Nation Status 📈


India's ambition to become a developed nation by 2047, with high-income status, hinges on achieving nearly 8% economic growth. However, this ambitious goal faces a significant roadblock: the low participation of women in the workforce. World Bank senior economist Dhruv Sharma emphasized the vital link between India's growth trajectory and female workforce engagement during the release of the World Bank's India Development Update report on October 3 in New Delhi.

Empowering Women for Economic Growth:

Sharma pointed out that India's current growth rate stands at approximately 6-6.5%, falling short of the 8% target required for high-income status. To bridge this gap, increasing the participation of women in the workforce is imperative. Women's active engagement in various sectors of the economy is not only a matter of equality but also a key driver of economic growth.

Gender Disparities in Employment:

The India Development Update report highlighted disparities in employment between men and women. While both the male and female Worker Population Ratios (WPR) increased slightly in January-March 2023 compared to the previous year, the rise in women's WPR was largely attributed to an increase in unpaid work. Additionally, women in India often experience lower job quality compared to men, with a declining share of regular salaried employment in urban areas.

Unlocking Women's Potential:

Auguste Kouame, World Bank's Country Director for India, stressed the importance of raising the female labor force participation rate in India. He highlighted the significant progress made in women's education in India, with more girls attending universities than boys. Now, the focus must shift toward utilizing the skills and talents of educated women to propel the economy toward high-income status.

Fiscal Stability Amidst Growth Goals:

While India strives to boost its GDP growth rate, the World Bank's assessment of the fiscal situation remains optimistic. Kouame expressed confidence that India is on track to meet its fiscal deficit target for the year despite the upcoming elections. The government aims to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.9% of GDP in 2023-24, and the World Bank's forecast aligns with this target. Additionally, the medium-term fiscal deficit target of 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26 indicates a positive trend, though its attainment remains uncertain.

India's journey to becoming a developed nation by 2047 hinges not only on economic growth but also on empowering women to participate fully in the workforce. Gender equality and female workforce engagement are integral components of India's path to prosperity. The World Bank's commitment to working alongside stakeholders to elevate the female labor force participation rate highlights the importance of this endeavor for India's future.



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