It might be the most dynamic region in the world but the Asia Pacific isn’t meeting its economic potential, and some of that has to do with gender equality, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
Targeted policies to achieve more women’s equality in Asia-Pacific economies could add $4.5 trillion to the region’s combined annual gross domestic product by 2025, or 12 percent better than if the status quo were maintained, MGI, the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Co, said in a report Tuesday.
“Women can help — and are helping — to power this engine, making vital contributions to sustaining and enhancing Asia’s growth and lifting more people out of poverty,” the report’s authors wrote. “Yet gaps remain large in many countries in the region on genderequality both in work and in society.”
The researchers estimate that 58 per cent of that potential growth would be from raising women’s labour-force participation rate, a quarter from putting more women to work in higher-productivity sectors and 17 percent from boosting women’s work hours.
MGI judged 18 economies in the region for gender equality in work and in society. On the work metrics, the Philippines was lauded for progress, followed by New Zealand and Singapore. India and Pakistan were judged furthest from gender parity in work.
While there are fewer than four women globally in leadership roles to every 10 men, the ratio is only one in four in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the report. On societal metrics, South and Southeast Asia offers a lot of potential for gender parity in digital and financial inclusion, while physical security and autonomy are considered greater worries.