International Women's Day: India witnesses sharp plunge in female employment

Mumbai, PTI | Updated : 08 March 2019, 10:32 AM

Women's participation in the country's workforce has had a massive fall from 36.7 percent in 2005 to a low 26 percent in 2018, says a report. There are also as many as 19.5 crore women employed in the unorganised sector or in unpaid work in the country, reveals a Deloitte report released on the International Women's Day Friday. The report blames this sorry state of affairs to the lack of access to quality education and the widening digital divide, limits women from gaining employable skill-sets and entering the workforce.

The employment ratio of women remains low despite the increasing focus on reskilling and upskilling of workforce in general and women in particular, in line with the evolving industry needs, notes the report.

Globally as well as in the country, there is a declining trend of women's participation in the workforce due to a litany of challenges, including lack of quality education, increasing digital divide which all hinder them from gaining employable skill sets and entering the workforce or set up an enterprise, says the report.

The report blames the underlying social, economic and political barriers this anomaly facing women and suggested that evolving a stronger ecosystem around women entrepreneurs to help them complete the entrepreneurship life-cycle can result in economic empowerment and agency.

This can be achieved through better access to quality education, gaining managerial, leadership and soft skills, financial and digital literacy, influencing social settings and building support systems, access to resources like finance, technology, raw materials, talent and joining the right networks, notes the report.

The report, however, notes that businesses in the country are taking a proactive approach to train their workforces for the future and they have the most clearly defined decision-making process of all executives. "The fourth industrial revolution makes it necessary that women, more particularly young women, must be helped to develop strong foundational skills and understanding of technology, STEM and digital. This will enable ultimately in improved career choices," concludes the report.  

First Published: Friday, March 08, 2019 08:26 AM
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