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For economic growth, Indonesia should further gender equality: McKinsey

Jakarta Globe - August 3, 2018

Sheany, Jakarta Indonesia could add $135 billion, or 9 percent, to its annual gross domestic product, if it advances gender equality, McKinsey & Company said on Wednesday (01/08).

In a report published this week, McKinsey revealed that countries in the Asia-Pacific region could add $4.5 trillion to their collective GDP by 2025 by promoting equality for women.

Guillaume de Gantes, a partner at McKinsey & Company, said the global consulting firm organizes training on unconscious biases and help alter people's mindsets to provide equal opportunity for everyone.

"Everyone has unconscious biases, so we do a number of roleplays in very specific situation settings... [It allows us to] create equal opportunity in the workplace, and I think this has really helped us get the most of all our talents at McKinsey," Gantes said. He added that the more micro the level, the more impactful this kind of training is.

McKinsey's report, "The Power of Parity: Advancing Women's Equality in Asia Pacific," also shows a strong correlation between gender equality at work and gender equality in society. The former cannot be achieved without the latter.

Clean India, according to McKinsey Indonesia president director Phillia Wibowo, is an example of a campaign that helps support women to be more productive members of society.

Also known as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the campaign was launched in 2014 to clean up streets, public infrastructure and improve sanitation. While it does not take the form of direct advocacy for achieving parity for women, Clean India addresses some of the main social causes that hinder it.

"[There is value in] broadening the horizon of awareness campaigns, so it's not always [just] about achieving parity for women, but [addressing] causes that can help achieve that," Phillia said, giving campaigns on early childhood education and mentoring for women as other examples.

In Indonesia, 30 percent of households have no clean water, clean cooking fuel or sewerage installations.

Unpaid care work, such as looking after children and the elderly, cooking and cleaning, is more often than not undertaken by women. When access to clean water and sanitation is improved, the amount of time women spend on these most obvious tasks will be greatly decreased and women would be able to participate more in the economy.

Companies and government institutions should also consider establishing daycare facilities for the children of their employees, McKinsey suggests.

These efforts ought to include promoting equal sharing of unpaid care work, which may be achieved through more gender-neutral work benefits and policies, like introducing both paternity and maternity leave.

Source: http://jakartaglobe.id/news/economic-growth-indonesia-gender-equality-mckinsey/.

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