With one of the worst gender gaps in the world (53 percent), women have been chronically underrepresented in India’s workforce, according to figures by the World Bank. If men and women were equally represented, some 217 million women would join India’s labor force – which would boost India’s economy by 27 percent, according to IMF chief Christine Lagarde. According to the latest economic census, women in India make up half of the population but only a quarter of the workforce. The reasons for women’s low participation are myriad but well known: social customs, gender discrimination and the lack of safety and a supporting infrastructure. As LiveMint points out, all these factors are indicative of the high rates of gender inequality in India, which ranked behind both Qatar and Saudia Arabia in the UN’s 2012 Gender Inequality Index.
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