Sikkim is safest for working women, Delhi the worst
A report released by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) says Sikkim is the safest and best place for working women. As per the research, the state has the highest number of points – 30 as a measure of women’s safety. At the other extreme is the capital Delhi, which was rated 8.5, and was declared as the state having the worst facilities for working women.
“The tiny north-eastern state of Sikkim is the breakthrough state for women in the workplace, thanks to its high rates of female workforce participation, lack of restrictions on women’s working hours, and high conviction rates for workforce crimes against women (albeit on a small sample size),” states the report.
The survey was conducted in all states of the country and the points were denoted on the basis of the four primary factors – legal restrictions on women’s working hours in factories, retail, and the IT industry; the responsiveness of the state’s criminal justice system to crimes affecting working women, such as sexual harassment; the number of women workers in the state as a percentage of total workers; and the number of incentives the state’s start-up and industrial policies offer women entrepreneurs.
On the basis of the report submitted Sikkim is ranked first and is followed by the states of Telangana (28.5 points), Puducherry (25.6), Karnataka (24.7), Himachal Pradesh (24. 2), Andhra Pradesh (24.0), Kerala (22.2), Maharashtra (21. 4), Tamil Nadu (21.1) and Chhattisgarh (21.1).
“In something of a surprise, Delhi came last in our Index, due to its relatively low justice and workforce participation scores; its continued formal restrictions on women working at night in a wide range of sectors; and its lack of any incentives for female entrepreneurs in its industrial policies,” the report said.
The Hindustan Times report also states that our country has the world’s lowest rate (24%) of female workforce participation. Further, a 2015 report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that India could add 16% to its GDP in ten years if women participated in the workforce at the same rate as men.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT
- Four states (Sikkim, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu) have removed all restrictions on women working at night in factories, retail establishments, and the IT sector.
- In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, these restrictions were removed as a result of a court judgment. Maharashtra just missed a perfect score; it only allows women to work until 10 pm in retail establishments.
- On the other end of the spectrum, nine states and Union Territories do not formally allow women to work at night in any sector. Fifteen states and Union Territories did not offer women entrepreneurs any special incentives in their business-promotion policies.
- In something of a surprise, Delhi came last in our Index, due to its relatively low justice and workforce participation scores; its continued formal restrictions on women working at night in a wide range of sectors; and its lack of any incentives for female entrepreneurs in its industrial policies.
With a workforce that is only 24 percent female, India has one of the world’s lowest rates of female workforce participation. This is a serious drag on growth: a 2015 report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that India could add 16 percent to its GDP in ten years if women participated in the workforce at the same rate as men.