A Delhi government report revealed that a total of 19.6 lakh workers work in trading, service and the manufacturing sector in the capital and only 11.4% among them are women. Close to half of these women work as “informal hired workers”. The report on unincorporated non-agricultural enterprises (excluding constructions) in the capital is based on the 73rd National Sample Survey.

It shows that women constitute 2.23 lakh workers in the three sectors while men consist of 88.6%.

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Another report from 2011-2012 by the Ministry of Statistics shows that women’s participation has reduced over the years as it was under 20% in that year. Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh also report the least participation of women. However, statistics from Manipur, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Kerala show that women share a high percentage in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector.

“One should look for the data of females looking for jobs and not getting them. 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 make it harder for women to join which needs to be sensitized.”

The Female Labour Force Participation in India has been declining continually in the past decade. It was 33.7% in 1991 and declined to 27% in 2012, as per UN gender statistics.

Earlier, gender activist Kavita Krishnan had told SheThePeople.TV “One should look for the data of females looking for jobs and not getting them. 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 make it harder for women to join which needs to be sensitized.”

“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,” she added.

When it comes to the national capital, women are able to find work as informal workers. The government data has found that 1,00,472 women are informal labour. They account for 45% of the total female workforce. It showed that only 13,594 women work as formally hired workers, 84,720 are working owners, 13,532 are helpers or apprentices. A huge chunk is a part of ‘other workers’ by the survey. The report further says that an informally hired worker is “not having continuity of job”, “not eligible for paid annual leave”. It also says that an informal worker is “not eligible for social security benefits like a provident fund.”

“The declining participation of women in the workforce in an urban centre like Delhi is very worrying. Also, very worrying is the fact that half of the women are working informally. This makes them especially vulnerable,” said a Delhi labour department official, Indian Express reports.

Picture credit- Reuters

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