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World – Reducing gender pay gap by 25% by 2025 could add $5.8 trillion to global economy

World – Reducing gender pay gap by 25% by 2025 could add $5.8 trillion to global economy

June 20, 2017

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A report from the International Labour Organisation, World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) Trends for Women 2017, suggests that reducing the gender pay gap by 25% by 2025 could add $5.8 trillion to the global economy.

The report also showed that the global labour force participation rate in 2017 was 49%, which was nearly 27% lower than the rate for men. This figure is predicted to remain unchanged in 2018.

The $5.8 trillion figure could also unlock large potential tax revenues, according to the report. For example, global tax revenue could increase by US$ 1.5 trillion, most of it in emerging markets ($990 billion) and developed countries ($530 billion). Northern Africa, the Arab States and Southern Asia would see the greatest benefits given that in these regions the gaps in participation rates between men and women exceed 50 percentage points.

“The fact that half of women worldwide are out of the labour force when 58% of them would prefer to work at paid jobs is a strong indication that there are significant challenges restricting their capabilities and freedom to participate,” ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, Deborah Greenfield, said. “The most immediate concern for policy makers, therefore, should be to alleviate the constraints that women face in choosing to enter the labour market and address the barriers they are confronted with once they are in the workplace.”

According to the report, in 2017 the global unemployment rate for women stood at 6.2%, compared with 5.5% for men. This figure is estimated to remain unchanged for 2018, keeping the gap, therefore, at its current level, with no anticipated improvement in the gap before 2021 based on current trends.