The Periodic Labour Force Survey recently published by the National Statistical Office has grossly under-counted Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) in its estimation of labour force participation in India’s metropolitan cities. A report in The Hindu Business Line reveals that the gender-divide in the report undervaluing women’s participation is especially visible in major cities of the northern and eastern part of the country.

The concluding results of the report borders in on the fact that women’s labour force participation in these cities is very low and that they aren’t financially independent. It shows that women are not working in even part-time jobs, and are not seeking out employment. It also shows that the female labour force participation saw a dip in some cities in comparison to the percentage in the 2011 Census.

For example in Rajkot, the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report presents the female labour force participation rate at a low of 3.4 per cent in 2017-18 whereas for men it is at 74.2 per cent. According to the report, only 21500 women of the 6.34lakh of the total female population of 15 years and above are working. It claims that the employed women are working under regular employment and that no woman is self-employed or working in a family business. It also noted that no women of 15 years and above are unemployed or seeking employment. The report also botched up the sex ratio of the city stating that it has more women at 8.31 lakh females than 8.19 lakh males.

In Faridabad and Ghaziabad also the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of women is at 7.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent, respectively signifying that a whopping 92.7% and 92% of women in Faridabad and Ghaziabad were unemployed. When it comes to self-employed women, it found only 0.2% of women in Ghaziabad 1.8 % Faridabad. In the category of casual workers, Ghaziabad had no women casual labours and Faridabad only 0.9%.

In Delhi, only 17.5% of women are counted as FLFP. Only 2.5% of Delhi women are counted as self-employed women including 0.4% who work in the family enterprises. It estimated casual workers at 0.4% and regular workers at 12.8 per cent of the female population who are aged 15 years and above.

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In other metro cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, it was estimated at 20.4 per cent, 21.3 per cent, 22.1 per cent and 22.2 per cent, respectively.

In Delhi, only 17.5 per cent of women are counted as FLFP. Only 2.5 per cent of Delhi women are counted as self-employed women including 0.4 per cent who work in the family enterprises.

All functional cities in the country has a large population of women workers who run independent beauty parlours, boutiques, in most cases from within their houses. There is a large number of women artisans, painters, embroidery makers, tutors etc. who also work from their houses and work from home in itself has become such a viable option for Indian women today who have to manage their families and generate income as well. It seems that the Periodic Labour Force Survey hugely missed out on this part of the population. The survey currently estimates 1.45 lakh women’s participation in furthering country’s economy which is far lower than what the reality is.

Picture credit- Sath.wordpress

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