Waning women at work -Roshan Kishore

-Hindustan Times

Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), which measures the share of population which is either working or looking for work, was 54.9% for men and 18.2% for women in rural areas. These figures were 55.6% and 25.3%, respectively in the 2011-12 EUS

Two unrelated announcements on June 3 are worth taking note of in context of the challenges faced by India’s women workers. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi announced that it will make travelling free for women in Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation and so-called cluster buses in the national capital. The same day, Zomato, a food search and delivery Unicorn, announced a 26-week parenting leave for both men and women employees along with a $1000 endowment per child. “A myopic view of primary care-giving not only alienates one half of our workforce, but also creates circumstances that lead to fewer female leaders within organisations, the community and the nation”, the company said in its statement.

Last week, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) published the findings of the first Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report. The PLFS is the first comprehensive official set of statistics on employment in India after the 2011-12 Employment Unemployment Survey (EUS). One of the major findings of the PLFS is that the already existing trend of women withdrawing themselves from the workforce has intensified.

Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), which measures the share of population which is either working or looking for work, was 54.9% for men and 18.2% for women in rural areas. These figures were 55.6% and 25.3%, respectively in the 2011-12 EUS. The ratio of LFPR for male and population in rural India has increased from 1.7 in 1993-94 to 3 in 2017-18. This gap has always been much higher in urban India, although it has actually gone down marginally between 2009-10 (3.8) and 2017-18 (3.6).

The PLFS report also gives LFPR for persons in the age group of 15-29 years in both rural and urban areas from 2004-05. Here too, the ratio of LFPR among men and women has increased consistently from 1.8 to 3.7 in the rural areas, while it has declined marginally from 3.6 to 3.3 between 2009-10 and 2017-18 in urban areas.

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Hindustan Times, 9 June, 2019, https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/waning-women-at-work/story-1v5eNLUCxJ7ibHIkbRenEM.html

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