World Bank Official Expressed a Desire to Prioritize Women’s Empowerment and Ensure Equal Opportunities

World Bank Official Expressed a Desire to Prioritize Women's Empowerment and Ensure Equal Opportunities

World Bank Managing Director (Operations) Anna Bjerde highlighted that if India raises its female labor force participation to 50 percent, it could potentially elevate GDP growth by 1 percent, a significant impact for a country like India.

During her recent visit to the city to oversee World Bank-supported projects, Bjerde toured ‘Thozhi,’ a working women’s hostel in suburban Tambaram. The hostel, jointly developed by the Government of Tamil Nadu, World Bank, and the private sector, aims to support women in the workforce.

In January, TN Chief Minister M K Stalin inaugurated the hostel.

Bjerde expressed, “While focusing on housing solutions for women, our ultimate goal is to promote women’s empowerment and equal opportunities. These initiatives have resulted in women pursuing studies or engaging in interesting roles in IT or manufacturing. The growing number of hostels in recent years demonstrates the demand for such facilities.”

She emphasized the World Bank’s commitment to continue engaging in developmental programs for women, particularly highlighting the significant urban development project of working women’s hostels in the state. Bjerde expressed interest in witnessing successful models that support and enhance female labor force participation.

When questioned about the potential replication of the model of establishing working women’s hostels in other parts of the world, she remarked, “In many countries, female labor force participation remains relatively low, and even here in India, I would like to see it increase.”

She further commented, “I believe any country with comparable demographics and social dimensions, striving to transition from lower-middle-income to upper-income developed status, could glean valuable insights from India.”

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