Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

UN Report on Gender Gap in Labour Market


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Gender gap in labor market

Gender equality across the world remains a far-fetched goal and no country has achieved it so far, according to the 2020 edition of the United Nations report on the state of gender equality in the world.

Try this question for mains:

Q.Discuss how marriage age and women’s health are linked with each other?

About the Report

  • The report titled “World’s Women: Trends and Statistics” was released by the UN-DESA.
  • The report provided a reality-check on the global status of women 25 years since the world adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
  • It presented the global state of gender equality in six critical areas: Population and families; health; education; economic empowerment and asset ownership; power and decision-making; and violence against women and the girl child as well as the impact of COVID-19.

Highlights on status of women

  • The gender gap in the labour market, for example, has not budged a bit since 1995.
  • While the status of women has improved with regard to education, early marriage, childbearing and maternal mortality, the progress has stagnated in other areas.

Participation in the labour market

  • The gender gap in the labour market has remained as it was since 1995: The gap of 27 percentage points has barely changed since then, the report showed.
  • Only 47 per cent women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to around 74 per cent men, according to the report.
  • The largest gender gap in labour force participation was observed in the prime working age (25-54).
  • This gap has remained unaddressed since 1995 and was at 32 percentage points as of 2020, according to the report. It was 31 percentage points in 1995.
  • In India, the ratio of female-to-male labour force participation rate was 29.80 in 2019 as against the desired ratio of 50 per cent.

Working for free

  • The data in the interactive UN report showed how women remained under the burden of unpaid domestic and care work.
  • On an average day, women globally spent about three times (4.2 hours) as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men (1.7 hours).
  • Unpaid domestic work includes activities related to the maintenance of the household, including food preparation, upkeep of the home, caring for pets etc.

Family responsibilities

  • Family responsibilities and unequal distribution of unpaid domestic and care workers were among the primary reasons for women not joining the labour force.
  • Their participation depended on their liabilities and responsibilities in their household, noted UN. It found that women living alone were more likely to be in the labour market.
  • On an average, 82 per cent women of prime working-age living alone were in the labour market, compared to 64 per cent women living with a partner and 48 per cent living with a partner and children.
  • Their participation rates in the economy were found to improve in the latter part of their lives after their responsibilities reduced — when their children grew older.

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