As per the articles and reports published by the UN council, women in India represent 29 percent of the labour force, down from 35% in 2004. More than half of the network done by women in India is unpaid, and almost all of it is informal and unprotected. Though they comprise almost 40% of agricultural labour, they control only 9% of land in India. There’s a majority of women population in the country having no access to any banking or other financial services. Nearly 60% of women have no valuable assets to their name.
It is an estimated number; Indian women contribute approximately 17% – 18% of the total GDP. Although they are strong in the farming and dairy sector, India’s rapid urbanization has not yet encouraged more women to join the workforce.
Women in India face great physical insecurity. The rate of crimes against women in India stands at 53.9%. The most disturbing number comes from our national capital city Delhi; 92% of women reported having experienced sexual or physical violence in public spaces. Insecurity in girls has been rising and it affects the whole working environment. Female counterparts I met, asked about their thoughts; and the first problem they reported to go anywhere is “physical abuse threat”. This indicates that we need to work hard on our cultural practices and need a strong government and societal policies to protect the female from any physical threat in public places.
Gender discrimination is another major challenge that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Premature deaths of girls under the age of five are also high as compared to boys; due to negligence and poor thoughts for a girl child.
Formal Education is also one of the major challenges which restrict women workforce from learning the skills required to join the mainstream workforce. Girls from village areas have experienced education till 12th or graduation. Further, they get married by their family according to their social rules. Therefore many girls miss the Post-graduation and remain behind in the growth race.
According to the reports and data research, the economic impact of achieving gender equality in India is estimated to be US$ 700 billion of added GDP by 2025. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) estimates that equal participation of women in the workforce will increase India’s GDP by 27%.
There are social benefits to empowering women. Women spend 90% of their income on their families, and economically empowered women boost demand, have healthier and better-educated children, and raise human development levels. One in three private sector leaders reported that profits increased as a result of efforts to empower women in emerging markets.
The Government of India and other state governments are introducing and implementing schemes to empower women in the education, job, and business sector. Recent policy from the Government of India, MUDRA scheme to support micro and small enterprises and direct benefit transfer under the Jan Dhan Yojana seeks to empower women. Women entrepreneurs account for about 78% of the total number of borrowers under MUDRA. Home scheme for women with tax relaxation and education schemes like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ are the steps taken to improve the participation of women in our GDP and make them financially independent.
Prosperity arrives at your door only when you strive for it. If we want to develop our lifestyle we need the support of the women workforce in our GDP growth. China is the true competitor for India in terms of Population and it has 40% of the women workforce contributing to the economy. That’s one of the reasons why China’s GDP is in the double-digit.
Implementation of policies and schemes effectively and in a transparent manner could help us achieve the target to be one of the prosperous nations in the world again.
– Jai Hind
– by Parag Ahire