Women Labourforce and Crime Against Women GS – 2 ISSUES RELATED TO WOMEN, GENDER, EMPLOYMENT

As per the new fertility trends the national fertility rates have fallen. Women’s education has increased over the past few years and both have contributed to the rise in the  participation of women in the paid labour force elsewhere in the world. However, the trend does not follow in India.

Women Labourforce and Crime Against Women GS – 2 ISSUES RELATED TO WOMEN, GENDER, EMPLOYMENT: Today Current Affairs

India’s Female Labour Force Participation Rate (FLFPR) has witnessed a decline from 31.20% in 2011-12 to 24.450% in 2018-19. Fear of sexual abuse (broadly categorising crime against women) along with  other factors like societal norms, domestic responsibilities, limited  economic opportunities and lack of supportive infrastructure etc contribute a major reason for women dropping out of the labour force.

Female Labour Force Participation in India

  • Falling FLFPR: India’s female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) is confusing its economy. Though the total output in the country has more than doubled and the participation of women has increased by 25% over the last two decades, the number of women in jobs has declined by 10 million.

  • Gender Parity Indices: Global indices and gender empowerment measures by international organisations has showcased a hazy picture. India ranked 140th of 156 countries, compared to its 98th position in 2006 in The Global Gender Gap Index, 2021. India’s FLFPR has also been falling from (24.5% in 2018-19) which is well below the global average of 45% FLFPR. 

  • Data on present Employment and Education levels: Right to Education Act, 2009 has helped India close gender equality at the primary level. The 2020’s decade has witnessed an increase in the rate of women enrolling in higher education. When more women pursue higher education, more are expected to enter the job market.

  • Link between FLFPR & women labour market: It is proved from the data collected that shows strong correlations between a falling  FLFPR and barriers that obstruct women’s labour-market choices. 

Crime Against Women- The Hindu Analysis

NCRB Data: According to the study conducted on Crime in India published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and assessed crimes that obstruct women from stepping out to work and raise perceptions of lack of safety. The results showed a falling FLFPR by 8% however the crime against women has tripled to 58%. 

State Related Data on Crime Against Women: The states of Sikkim, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh maintain a high FLFPR against a lower rate of crime in comparison with other states and Union territories. The states of  Assam,Bihar, Delhi, & Tripura, had the lowest FLFPR, and also had among the highest crime rates.

Way Forward

  • The SAFETY Approach: A comprehensive mechanism is needed that involves the state, institutions, communities and households to address the challenge of women’s mobility. Adopting a ‘SAFETY’ framework in framing policies that focuses on Attitudes,Services, Focus on community, Empowerment of women, Transport and other infrastructure, and Youth interventions. 

  • Breaking the aniarchial norms of Keeping Women Indoors: The public focus on violence outside is not only misjudged in the context of women’s employment, but the continuous thrust to keep women indoors also completely masks the fact that the bulk of violence against women is perpetrated by those known to them for eg the close family members.

  • Significance of Women Participation: Achieving gender equality could increase India’s GDP by $770 billion by 2025. This opportunity predominantly hinges on women participating in the labour force. The world bank estimates that India’s GDP would be 27% greater if women participated in economic activities in huge numbers equal to those of men.

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