By Arul Louis
United Nations, March 8 (IANS) - Empowering women to achieve economic equality would "exponentially" increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by at least $12 trillion by 2025, according to Assistant Secretary General Lakshmi Puri.
With women's equal participation in the economy, world GDP has the potential to even go up to $28 trillion, she said Tuesday citing a study done by the consulting company, McKinsey, in association with UN Women, the international organisation's outfit for women's empowerment and equality. The total world GDP is estimated to be about $75 trillion.
"We need to make a great leap" to reach that goal of economic equality by 2030, she said at a news conference on the eve of International Women's Day. To focus on economic equality, the theme of 2017's observance is 'Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030' with the goal of achieving parity that year.
At the current rate of progress, she said, it would take 170 years to achieve pay equality, according to a World Economic Forum report on gender gap. The current pay gap between women and men is at least 23% and even bigger in many countries, she said.
Women do two-thirds of the world's work in terms of hours, yet their global income is only one-tenth of men's, she said, with too many hours spent in providing care and in domestic work. Women put in two-and-a-half times more time in these mostly unpaid and very under-appreciated tasks than men on a global average.