Why is female participation in India's workforce on the decline? It's a problem flummoxing many. While the patriarchal mindset is one of the biggest barriers for women taking up jobs in our country, not being considered suitable enough for white-collar jobs is another.
According to the latest report by the World Bank, the main reason behind the low female labour participation rate is due to exclusion of women employees from various different sectors such as white-collar clerical and retail sales jobs that have the capacity to generate the maximum amount of employment for moderately educated people and typically the female population.
The report, titled 'Analysing Female Employment Trends in South Asia', also suggests there are no jobs for moderately educated women in India while less educated women still have a chance. Startling, right?
While there could be many factors that have led to this startling result. There are various gender norms-- both in public as well as private spheres that have resulted in lower participation of moderately educated women.
Being the patriarchal country that we are, educated women in India are not considered fit for many jobs including the ones in sales, late-night global customer care execution, etc. This is because travel isn't considered safe for women in India. Therefore, educated women end up missing on many work opportunities just because their country isn't safe for them. There are also many legal roadblocks for women when it comes to working hours.
Not just that! Survey suggests that the men in India think badly of the wives who step out and work instead of staying at home and taking care of chores and kids. Seriously? Are we living in the 2020 or the 20th century? This survey comes as a wake-up call for the society to change norms and give the freedom of choice to educated women. I am disappointed to be even arguing about this in 2020! The report is proof that despite the efforts of many, patriarchy is still deeply-rooted in our society. The reason: years of conditioning and acceptance of flawed concepts without questioning it once. We may be disappointed of such stats coming out in this new decade, but we won't stop our efforts to change this thought process.
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