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Bangladesh may see 40% GDP rise with increased women’s participation, says IMF

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

Bangladesh has the potential to boost its economic output by nearly 40% if it closes the gender gap and increases women’s participation in the workforce, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Sizable gaps in women’s economic empowerment undermine growth and exacerbate climate vulnerability in Bangladesh,” the IMF stated in an article published last week.

Over the past three decades, Bangladesh has seen its per capita income grow seven-fold, while poverty levels have significantly dropped.

“Such progress has been driven in part by greater labour force participation by women, most notably in the garment industry, and has been accompanied by other meaningful improvements in women’s empowerment,” said Jayendu De and Genet Zinabou, authors of the article.

However, despite this progress, there remain significant differences between men and women in the workforce. “Women barely make up half of men’s labour force participation,” the article noted.

Jayendu De, the IMF’s resident representative in Bangladesh, and Genet Zinabou, an economist in the department of fiscal affairs, highlighted that reducing the gender gap could potentially increase Bangladesh’s economic output by around 40%.

The article suggests that encouraging women to join the workforce should be a priority. This could involve extending affordable childcare options, reducing job informality, and improving access to higher education and skill development for women to ease the burden of unpaid care.

De and Zinabou also recommend addressing gender norms that discourage women from seeking formal employment and higher wages.

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