Female labour force participation

image 42

Studies shows that Female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) exhibits a U-shape during the process of economic development. The downward trend in ‘U’ was due to rise in Household incomes because of expansion of markets and shift from farm activities to factory work.

However, when educational level rises and as value of women’s time in the market increases further, they move back into the paid labour force. 

image 42

However, despite experiencing structural changes such as decline in fertility rates and expansion of women’s education, Indian FLFPR has been stagnated. While NSSO found that 25.9% of all women worked in 1999-2000, female labour force participation rate in 2020-21, according to PLFS report, is only 25.1%.

The female labour force participation rate of Muslim women in the country is 15%, as compared to 26.1% for Hindu women. Over the past three years, Muslim women have had the lowest LFP rate amongst all religious groups in the country.

Reasons for low female labour force participation

  • Rising Household Incomes: Rising incomes allow women to escape harsh labour on farms and construction sites and focus on their families.
  • Agrarian crisis: Declining farm sizes, rising mechanisation and agrarian crisis are pushing women out of agricultural workforce.
  • Lack of Rural connectivity: Lack of transport network to villages may prevent women from taking non-agricultural work in Neighbouring towns. Lack of transport services effect women more than men.
  • Increased Education levels of women: Growing enrolment of women in Higher education and lack of adequate well paid formal jobs in the market.
  • Nuclear families: Growing trend of nuclear families keeping childcare left to women with no support from elders of the family.
  • MSME crisis: MSME sector offers significant employment opportunities to women. But rigid labour laws and other protective policies of govt hindered the growth of MSMEs.
  • Patriarchal norms: Patriarchal norms of society determines Domestic division of labour. Women are expected to take care of domestic chores while men go out for work.
  • Childcare: Most education drop out of labour force due to childbirth and care.
  • Other factors: Glass ceiling at workplace which limits work opportunities for females at senior levels, sexual harassment at workplaces inducing fear among females. Lack of access to marketable skills in an economy which is driven by service class.

Measures to be taken

  • Promote gender-responsive employment policies particularly through macroeconomic, sectoral and labour market policies that address effectively the gender-specific effects of the COVID- 19 crisis and support the creation of full and productive employment for women.
  • Promote appropriate public and private investment in the care sector, which has the strong potential not only to expand decent work opportunities – especially for women – but also strengthen the resilience of economies and societies and enable workers with family responsibilities to engage in employment.
  • Closing the gender skills gap by gender-responsive upskilling and reskilling policies that enable women to take full advantage of the decent job opportunities on offer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar