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Posted: January 23, 2016

Ending gender inequality could pay off in the trillions


            Ending gender inequality could pay off in the trillions
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 21: A flag with the female gender sign waves at an Equal Pay Day rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate on March 21, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The annual event recognizes the wage gap between women and men in the country, where women's salaries still lag behind that of men, particularly in the states that were once East Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

By Melissa Prax

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What would actually happen if we had worldwide gender equality? Well, one estimate says the global economy would take off.

The director of the McKinsey Global Institute says there would be a $28 trillion boost to the global economy if women and men became equal overnight. That's nearly 1.5 times that of the United States' current economy.

With all that extra money, global government debt could be eliminated. Currently, government debt is estimated at $25 trillion.

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Researchers studied what would happen if women were as economically involved as men. They looked at factors like job opportunities, leadership positions and wages. The World Economic Forum estimates globally women won't be earning the same as men for another 118 years.

But if countries focused on being as equal as the nation in their region with the least inequality, the boom could still be high, the director also said. We're talking $12 trillion or the total of China's current economy.

The prediction was reiterated at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, but even there, women aren't equally represented. This year they made up less than 20 percent of participants.

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