This year’s World Economic Forum has begun in Davos and focus is on gender parity to improve the economic condition of the countries. The WEF has been saying year after year how India’s GDP will get a boost if women start contributing equally to the labour force as men. And this year’s IMF report says that India’s GDP will rise by 27% if there is gender parity in the workforce.

“Time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive”

IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Norway’s PM Erna Solberg wrote the joint paper to illustrate how gender diversity can help as a catalyst in the economic development of various countries across the world.

Calling women’s participation “macro-critical”, the two leaders set the base for calling the year 2018 “the year for women to thrive”. Both Lagarde and Solberg push for government-based policies like affordable childcare and parental leave policies and not just maternal leave policies. “These schemes are costly, so why should governments provide them? Because it is an investment that pays off — women’s participation contributes enormously to economic growth.”

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The paper also talked about the major movements that are being talked about across the whole world like #metoo and #equal pay which talk about boycotting sexual harassment and gender pay gap respectively. Lagarde and Solberg ended the paper with, “Time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive.”

This year, the much-awaited WEF conference is going to have an all-women panel which includes Indian social entrepreneur Chetna Sinha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will join the 70 heads of government from across the world.

The conference will see 21 per cent women’s participation among a crowd of 3,000 attendees from across the globe in the fields of politics, business, art and culture, academia and civil society.

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