Female participation in the labour force at an all time low: Report

women at work in india

The last decade has seen a staggering 10 percent drop in women’s participation in the labour force in India says an ASSOCHAM- Thought Arbitrage Research study. As per the study, there is an urgent need to create more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities to promote women empowerment thereby making them economically independent, as reported by Business Standard.

The study further states the reasons for the dip. “There are certain primary reasons for low participation of women in the labour force like lack of access to higher education among women and dearth of opportunities to work. Even lack of flexibility in working conditions tends to dissuade women from joining the labour force as they turn to their domestic duties.”

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The Female Labour Force Participation or FLFP rate saw an increase during 2000-2005 when it rose from 34 to 37percent. However, post that there has been seen a continuous fall. In 2014 when the Indian economy saw an all time high it was at 27 percent, reports the study, which quoted World Bank data.

Reacting to the data, Kavita Krishnan, women’s rights activist, said this to Shethepeople.TV,  “One should look for the data of females looking for jobs and not getting them that is also a usual case. It also largely depends on various sectors where women were employed in high numbers but were left without a job during the economic crisis. The working conditions makes it harder for women to join which needs to be sensitized.” She added, “I feel unwillingness to work or family not sending them to work is not really a reason why there is a dip while looking for work and not getting it is.”

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India showed the lowest FLFP rate in 2017 among the BRICS countries whereas Brazil showed 59% female labour rate, Russia- 57%, China- 64% and South Africa- 45%.

Last year, International Monetary Fundy chief Christine Lagarde made a statement at the launch of W20, “we have estimates that, if the number of female workers were to increase to the same level as the number of men, GDP in the United States would expand by 5 per cent, by 9 per cent in Japan, and by 27 per cent in India,” as reported by Economic Times. Now India could definitely do with that kind of growth, right? Time to bring in more women to work, what say!

Feature Image Credit: news18.com

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