95 per cent women in India involved in unpaid labour

• In India, 95 per cent or around 195 million women are employed in the unorganised sector or in unpaid labour, says a report released by consultancy firm Deloitte.

• The share of women in the workforce fell to 25 per cent and the female labour force participation rate (FLPR) stands at 26 per cent, with 195 million women work in the unorganised sector or do unpaid work.

• It adds that involving women in the workforce can help achieve future aspirations that can boost India’s GDP by 27 per cent. However, this will only be possible if participation of women increases in workplace to same number as men.

Key highlights about the range of challenges

• Limited access to education, information, technology, social and political participation.

• In India, the female labour force participation has had a decadal fall from 36.7 per cent in 2005 to 26 per cent in 2018, with 95 per cent (195 million) women employed in the unorganised sector or in unpaid word.

• In the education sector, 39.4 per cent girls aged between 15−18 dropped out of schools and colleges.

• In terms of digital literacy, only 34 per cent women in India have access to mobile technology, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). Further, 76 per cent females had never used the Internet.

Other highlights

• The study included survey from industries, non-profits, government, skill development agencies and beneficiaries.

• It suggests reviving the education ecosystem through a set of new initiatives, introduction of digital and stem education in schools, building strong foundational skills, and better career opportunities and choices through vocational training and apprenticeship.

• The report adds that if women participation in the workforce increases to the same extent as men, it can boost India’s GDP by 27 per cent.

• Hence, it is important for the world leaders to commit to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda for 2030, as increasing women participation in the workforce will be key in achieving future growth aspirations.

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Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and Employment

Prelims level: Highlights of the report

Mains level: Inequality of Wages for Women

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