Low Female Labour Force Participation + Wage Disparity + Women in Combat Role

Low Female labour Force Participation

IMF working paper – India has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates among emerging markets and developing countries.

Reasons 

  • As men in family start earning more income, women tend to cut from formal work & focus on household activities
  • Stigma attached to women working outside the home especially in upper castes
  • Safety issues & Harassment at work place
  • Increasing number of women of working age are enrolling in secondary schools

 

Way Forward

  • Bridging gender gaps in secondary and tertiary education
  • Creating employment opportunities in male dominated sectors
  • Ensuring skill training for women in key sectors
  • Promoting gender diversity policies and practices in private sector organisations
  • Reshaping societal attitudes and beliefs about women participation in the labour force
  • Strengthening legal provisions for women security and strict enforcement of these laws

 


Wage Disparity

  • Salary Index Report of online service provider Monster – Gender pay gap in India
  • Gender pay gap is as high as 27% – highest in manufacturing & IT services sector

 

Reasons 

  • Preference for male employees over female employees
  • Preference for promotion of male employees to supervisory positions
  • Career breaks of women due to parenthood duties and other socio-cultural factors.
  • Lack of flexible work policies &r extended leave
  • Lack of opportunities in male dominated sectors – for example armed forces.
  • Care work by women is undervalued as it is seen as their natural attribute rather than a skill.
  • Glass ceiling effect faced by women, that is, they face an invisible barrier that prevents them from reaching to higher positions in an organisation.

 

Three powerful accelerators such as digital fluency, career strategy, and tech immersion may help women close the pay gap.


Women in Combat Role

Women will be allowed to occupy combat roles in all sections of its army, navy and air force – gender parity in one of the world’s most-male dominated professions – in line with United States & Israel

Women in Combat Role

Concerns 

  • ensuring safety & dignity of women in the forces especially in matter related to sexual harassment
  • women’s vulnerability on capture and over their physical and mental ability to cope with the stress of frontline deployments
  • It should not be a political gimmick to flaunt sexual equality, but women should be given actual recognition for their competence

 

Rationale for the Decision 

  • Policy for army should be driven by single factor of ‘ensuring security of the country’ regardless of gender
  • Resource pool should not be limited to half of the population by putting a blanket ban on women
  • Modular training for specific assignments can be imparted to women to overcome perceived disadvantages
  • Landscape of modern warfare has changed with greater focus on intelligence gathering and emergence of cyberspace as arenas of combat.

 

Gender cannot be a barrier in front of someone having the desire to render selfless service for the love of the nation. Women who are aware of the concerns and still willing to join the services should not be held back.


Concerns of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace 

  • 70% of the women do not report sexual harassment by superiors due to the fear of repercussions
  • Cases remain pending in court for long time enhancing the agony of victims
  • 36% of Indian companies and 25% of multinational companies had not yet constituted their Internal Complaints Committee mandated under sexual harassment act
  • The Act does not fix accountability as to who is in charge of ensuring that workplaces comply with the Act.

 

Some relieveIndia has substantially improved its rank in Global Gender Gap index – 87 from 108 in a year. The major improvement, however, has been in education, where it has managed to close its gap entirely in primary and secondary education.

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