Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

[op-ed snap] Why so few women work in Indiaop-ed snap


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Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Role of women & women’s organization

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Skill India initiative

Mains level: Reasons behind less number of women in workforce and schemes required to increase their participation


Context

Labour force disparity

  1. India has far fewer women working or available for work compared to any other large economy in the world
  2. Women’s participation in the labour force declined sharply in the country precisely when the country’s economic engine was growing the fastest: between 2004-05 and 2011-12

Reasons behind fewer women in the workforce

  1. A big reason why women don’t work is that there is usually no one else to do the tasks that a patriarchal society assigns to them
  2. In rural India, this often means attending to onerous tasks such as fetching water or collecting firewood
  3. In urban India, this may mean childcare in an environment where help is not as easy to come by as in rural India
  4. Data from the two latest quinquennial employment surveys of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) show that this was driven by a rise in the share of women who listed ‘attending to domestic duties’ as their principal activity in the year preceding the surveys
  5. The force of patriarchy also manifests itself in socio-religious constraints, which restrict the mobility of women
  6. Across major states, the share of women attending to domestic duties is broadly correlated with the share of women citing social and religious constraints as the main reason for attending to domestic duties

Women interested in part-time work

  1. A majority of women attending to domestic duties are willing to work part-time if such work were made available at their household
  2. Tailoring work seems to be the most preferred option for such women, followed by dairy-related and poultry-related work
  3. Most women who want to take up such work emphasized the need for finance and training

Way Forward

  1. The data suggest that the Skill India initiative may have missed a trick by focusing largely on male candidates looking for full-time work
  2. Given the rising demand for training among homemakers looking for part-time work, they could benefit greatly from a skilling initiative that helps them get into part-time work, or to start their own enterprises
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