Impact of Gender Gap on Economic Growth- PhD Proposal

Impact of Gender Gap on Economic Growth- PhD Proposal…

THE INDIAN CIVILISATION places the woman, nari, in a pre- eminent position. The prayer ‘Yaa Devi Sarva- Bhuteshu Shakti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa’ refers to the women as a source of creation. In this context, nari sashaktikaran (empowerment) can be achieved in true sense by reducing the trench of gender gap.


Gender gap refers to the differences between males and females in terms of their access to resources, opportunities, and outcomes. This gap can manifest in various areas, such as education, employment, income, political representation, and health. It is often used to highlight the disparities and inequalities that exist between genders. Over the last few decades, gender inequality in many fields has declined significantly. However, the gender gap still exists and remains a significant challenge in modern times. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 published by World Economic Forum (WEF), no country has yet achieved full gender parity, although the top nine countries (Iceland, Norway, Finland, etc.) have closed at least 80% of their gap. However, when we come to the region such as Southern Asia- it has achieved 63.4% gender parity, the second-lowest score of the eight regions. This is alarming as India is a part of this geographical area. Therefore there is an urgent need for more gender equality efforts in the region.

The four key dimensions as mentioned in the Global Gender Gap Index are-

  1. Economic Participation and Opportunity,
  2. Educational Attainment,
  3. Health and Survival, and
  4. Political Empowerment

India has closed 64.3% of the overall gender gap, ranking 127th out of 146 countries on the global index. The country has attained parity in enrolment across all levels of education. However, it has reached only 36.7% parity on Economic Participation and Opportunity. On the one hand, there areupticks in parity in wages and income; on the other hand, the shares of women in senior positions and technical roles have dropped slightly since the last edition. On Political Empowerment, India has registered 25.3% parity, with women representing 15.1% of parliamentarians, the highest for India since the inaugural 2006 edition. On the Health and Survival index (95%), the improvement in sex ratio at birth by 1.9% t0 92.7% has driven up parity after more than a decade of slow progress.

As gender inequality not only violates women’s fundamental rights but also has significant economic implications. Therefore, India has to play a crucial role in filing the gender gap. Economic reforms help in achieving gender equality which in turn pushes economic growth upward. The government of India introduced many policies in this direction such as Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam as harbinger of social change and shifting political dynamics.

Impact of Gender gap on the Economic Growth

There are areas where the gender gap is still looming as follows-

  • Due to unpaid domestic work, their contribution is not registered in records and they enjoy lesser hours of leisure time than men.
  • Occupational segregation is a cause and effect of the wage gap e.g. high-female-share industries such as wearing apparel vs. high-male-demand in the technical field.
  • Digital divide and access to tech space.


  • Two of the world’s most significant socio-economic changes are the massive increase of women entering the labor force and their extraordinary progress in attaining high levels of education. The last half century has witnessed a drastic increase in the labor participation of women in most developed and developing countries. During this period, the labor participation rate of women has been converging to that of men in most countries, and the gender gap in wages has narrowed down (Duflo 2010).
  • As per Werfhorst, 2017 finding, The literacy rate has increased, but the gender gap still exists. Gender segregation is already visible at the educational level where girls are overrepresented in disciplines such as Social Sciences and Humanities; these subjects are characterized by lower labor market prospects and income. On the other hand, boys prefer STEM fields which offer high-salaried and more status-related careers.
  • According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2023, women make up only 29.2% of all STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers across 146 countries. In India, research by Muralidhar and Ananthanarayanan (2023) highlighted that across 100 Indian universities, only 16.6% of overall STEM faculty were women. Even when women choose STEM careers, 45% reported challenges in upward mobility and as many as 81% believed that there is a gender-bias in internal evalution process.
  • As per ElborghWoytek , cross-country and time-series evidence suggests that there is a U-shaped relationship between per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and  female labor market participation. Goldin (1990) too interprets the U-shaped pattern as a strong income effect at the early stage and a dominant substitution effect at the later stage. Goldin and her co-author Lawrence Katz, demonstrated the power of the pill in narrowing the earnings gap between women and men.
  •  In the labor market, high development on the gender equality front (such as in Sweden) is assumed to entail a large reduction of frictions on both the demand side of labor (due to, for example, discrimination in the labor market) and the supply side (due to, for example, gender social norms).
  • As per UNDP Report 2016, globally ,64 million women lost their jobs during the pandemic (twice as many men), because women are more likely to work in informal, temporary, and part –time jobs with lower pay and less social protection.
  • IMF first deputy managing director Gita Gopinath remarked that wars, pandemic, food and energy price surge, and long standing factors such as climate change have widened already large gender gaps, disproportionately affecting women’s jobs, incomes, and security. An estimated 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.

Brief review of previous studies have emphasized the need to address the gender gap urgently to achieve a more equitable and inclusive world.


The review of previous study indicate that there is need to brief study of gender gap and its impact on economic development in Indian perspective. So the present study will be an attempt to fill the gap at micro level.


  •  To study areas of gender gap in Indicountry Y.
  •  To examine different dimensions of gender gap in X district of Y country.
  • To identify the policy suggestions to fill the gender gap and to promote economic development in country Y.
  • To examine government policies in bridging the gender gap in country Y in general terms and in the district X
  •  in specific terms.


The present study will be based on primary and secondary data. The main source of secondary data will be the Global Gender Gap Report, Gender Inequality Index, Census of India, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data, Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) data, NITI Aayog findings, and other related documents.

Primary data will be collected through pre-structured questionnaires or interview schedules, etc. The sampling method will fall into multi-stage stratified random sampling. Several econometric and statistical tools will be used for data analysis as per requirement and data availability to test the hypothesis of the study.

A few indicators will be used as per data availability. For example-

  • Ownership of resources such as property ownership, etc.
  • Number of leisure hours
  • Women entrepreneurs and number of patents registered.
  • Financial inclusion i.e. % of women holding credit and debit cards and access to credit and lending, micro-credit schemes typically target women with low levels of education, etc.


The gap between men and women across all of these measures are slowly getting smaller. In 2018 the WEF Report showed that 68% of the overall gap is closed, a slight rise from about 65% in 2006. Much of that has to do with educational attainment and health. But two key areas still have not caught up – political empowerment and economic participation and opportunity. So while women are increasingly educated and healthy, they are rarely included in decision-making that affects them. In most nations, and on many key metrics, equality is still a long way away. Thus it is crucial to achieve gender equality for inclusive and sustainable development as mentioned in SDG Goal 5.


The entire chapter will be divided into 7 parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature Review and Research Methodology
  3. Status of Gender Gap in Country Y
  4. Status of Gender Gap in District X
  5. Data analysis and major findings, Results, and Discussions
  6. Conclusion and Policy Suggestions
  7. Bibliography


  • Duflo, E., 2012. “Women Empowerment and Economic Development,” Journal of Economic Literature, 50(4), 1051-79.
  • Goldin, C. 1990. Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Gopinath, G. 2022. Remarks on Gender Equality Boosts Economic Growth and Stability. Korea Gender Equality Forum.
  • International Monetary Fund, 2013. “Women, Work and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity,” IMF Staff Discussion Note 13/10. Washington.
  • OECD Development Centre (2014), “Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) 2014 Synthesis Report”.
  • World Bank. 1991. World Development Report. New York:
  • World Economic Forum. Gender Development Report 2023.

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