Low female labour force in India: World Bank

The rate of working women has been declining since 2005

GN Bureau | May 30, 2017


#female workforce   #women   #World Bank  
(GN Photo)
(GN Photo)

There is low female labour force participation in India, said a World Bank report, which added that India has one of the lowest female participation rates in the world, ranking 120th among the 131 countries for which data are available.
 
World Bank’s India Development Report said that even among countries with similar income levels, India is at the bottom, together with Yemen, Pakistan and Egypt. Worse still, the rate has been declining since 2005.  This is a matter of concern as women’s paid employment is known to increase their ability to influence decision-making within the household, and empower them more broadly in society as a whole.
 
In fact, less than a third or only 27 percent of women 15 years or older are working or actively looking for a job. Three of every five prime working age Indian women (26-45 years) are not economically active, meaning that they are neither working on a farm or in businesses nor are they earning any wage.
 
“This is a cause for concern since higher labor earnings are the primary driver of poverty reduction. It is often argued that declining female participation is due to rising incomes that allow more women to stay at home. The evidence, however, shows that fewer jobs in agriculture have not been replaced by alternative jobs considered suitable for women,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank country director in India.
 
 
In fact, at 42 percent, India has some of the highest share of graduates in science and technology among the comparator countries like Indonesia or Brazil, but only 34 percent of women with a post-secondary degree are in the labour market.
 
“India’s female labour force participation rate is uniquely low for all levels of education. Sixty five percent of Indian women with college degrees are not working whereas in Bangladesh 41 percent and in Indonesia and Brazil only 25 percent of women graduates are not working,” said Frederico Gil Sander, senior country economist and the main author of the India Development Update.
 
India has only created jobs equivalent to 0.9 percent of the adult population between 2005 and 2012 and most of these regular wage jobs created went to men. Also, in Bangladesh 33 percent of its labor force working in industry are women whereas in India it’s only about 17 percent, the Update said. This reflects the importance of the government’s recent package for the labor intensive garment and textile industry, which tends to create jobs for women.
 
According to an assessment done by the World Bank, India’s potential GDP growth can go up by a full percentage point if half the gap in female labour force participation rate with Bangladesh or Indonesia, is closed.
 
The key to close the gender gap is to create more jobs, especially regular salaried jobs that are flexible and can be safely accessed by women, the Update added.
 
The report goes on to say that India remains the fastest growing economy in the world - economic fundamentals are strong, and reform momentum continues. GST is on track for implementation in the second quarter of the fiscal year, and is expected to yield substantial growth dividends from higher efficiencies, and raise more revenues in the long term.
 
While, agriculture growth delivered in 2016-2017, the report noted that investment growth remains subdued, partly because of banking sector stress.
 
The report said the fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong, with robust economic growth, strong fiscal consolidation, low current account deficit, higher agricultural output, growing FDI, low inflation and higher wages in rural areas. Favourable monsoons boosted agriculture and rural consumption, while urban consumption remained robust and exports rebounded in the third quarter of 2016-2017.
 

Comments

 

Other News

With Modi wave, BJP breaks Gujarat record

The BJP has been in power in Gujarat since 1998, and the state proved to be its springboard for the national sweep in 2014. Yet, it never came even close to the highest tally of 149 seats (out of the total 182) that the Congress had recorded in 1985. This time it has finally broken past the 150-mark, aided

Reality As It Is: The Buddha`s advice on overcoming bias, prejudices

‘See Things As They Are’: Life Lessons from the Buddha Edited by Nanditha Krishna Aleph, 98 pages, Rs 399 There is a wonderful idea behin

World growth expected to face inflation pressures

World GDP forecasts for 2023 have been revised down again as central banks intensify their fight against inflation and the outlook for China’s property market deteriorates, says Fitch Ratings in its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO) report. Fitch now expects world GDP to grow by 1.4

200+ bird species documented in Chhattisgarh’s first-ever survey

Nine species of owls (including the magnificent spot-bellied eagle-owl), 10 birds of prey, 11 species of Woodpeckers (including white-bellied woodpecker – the largest woodpecker in peninsular India), and many other species have been documented during a first-ever bird survey in Chhattisgarh.

Cyclists plan ‘memorial ride’ to press demand for infrastructure

Cycling is a passion for many, and it is a way to fitness too. With rising numbers of vehicles on the road, the government encourages this environment-friendly mode of transportation, but it comes with numerous challenges. An accident last month on the Mahipalpur flyover of south Delhi, which took the life

“World headed towards stagflation; India must take care of the poor”

As the post-pandemic fallout and geopolitical uncertainty slows down global economies and sanctions against some nations, energy crisis and inflation are adding to the troubles, India is projected to be decoupled from world economy and fare better. To check if this belief really holds water, in the latest

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter