The head of the International Monetary Fund says equal opportunities and empowerment of women are crucial for driving a stronger global recovery, and for revitalizing Japan.

Christine Lagarde said Friday that the global economic recovery is too tepid and too turbulent.

She said the global economy is not utilizing women very effectively.

As a result it is "tossing away" economic growth at a time when it can't afford "such wanton waste."

Lagarde was speaking at a gathering organized by the Japanese government and business groups to support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign to promote a stronger role for women in the economy.