Employing more women could boost economies by 35 percent, says IMF chief Christine Lagarde

Hiring more women and abolishing discriminatory laws would significantly boost the world economy, according to Christine Lagarde.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, the head of the International Monetary Fund argues that countries ranked in the bottom 50 percent for gender equality — such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon — would experience economic gains of as much as 35 percent.

New IMF research shows that the new skills and productivity levels that women introduce to the workforce yields higher economic benefits than previously thought. Hiring more women leads to “higher growth, a reduction in inequality, an improvement in the strength of the economy and a more diversified, export-focused country,” Lagarde said.

“Things are changing. There was a time when women in the economy, women in employment, women in finance were not seen as macro-critical. That’s no longer the case,” she told The Guardian.

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