The number of women in labour force is reducing day by day. Enumerate the reasons behind the reducing dropout rate.
Female participation in Labour force is the predictive of the extent of the national growth. It is a national tragedy that women unable to find work are dropping out of the labour force.
As per labour force survey data, in rural nearly half the women who were in the workforce in 2004-05 had dropped out in 2017-18.The 61st round of the National Sample Survey Office recorded 48.5% rural women above the age of 15 as being employed either as their major activity or as their subsidiary activity but this number dropped to 23.7% in the recently released report of the Periodic Labour Force Survey.
ï¿½Reasons behind dropout:
- Jobless growth: The sustained economic growth in India has not translated into more jobs
- Mechanisation and land fragmentation: These have reduced agricultural work opportunities for both men and women
- Lack of job opportunities deemed suitable by women: Existenece of stigmas against informal work has led to a lower level of participation rates among women with medium educational attainment
- Discriminatory Labour Laws: Indian labour laws both at centre and state level has limited the employment of women workers by putting restrictions on the working of women during night shifts. A man with class 10 education can be a postal carrier, a truck driver or a mechanic; these opportunities are not open to women.
- Maternity Leave Hike: Women employment in India has been affected after the maternity leave hike. Start-ups and SMEs have become reluctant to hire them.
- Cultural norms and stigma:In a patriarchal society like India, cultural norms and stigmas attached to women working outside are not in favour of women.
- Migration: Concerns over safety and inadequate provisions of working womenï¿½s hostels when migrating to a major city for a job undermine the willingness of women to migrate for work
- Marriage: Early age at marriage is a major reason for lower work participation among women
The Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development has been established by the new government. A further boost to female labour force participation could be provided by increasing wages for women in the MGNREGA scheme. We need to focus on multi-sectoral reforms that have a positive impact on womenï¿½s work opportunities.