If the country is to grow in to $5 trillion economy women must be included.
All women work but not all of them get paid. India’s first national time survey released in 2020 by national statistical office finds that 81.2% of all women are engaged in unpaid domestic services compared with 26.1% of men. It finds that men spend 42 hours on average with in the production boundary that is what traditionally counted as economic activity whereas women spend 19 hours.
However, women spend 10 times more time on household maintenance and care of children, the sick and elderly.
Working women face the dreaded “double burden” where working outside the home and contributing to the family income does not come with commensurate reaction in the household responsibilities,
Women face mental stress.
They get prone to many diseases.
Steps taken by the government:
The government already runs the world’s largest public system for child services, the remarkable Anganwadi system which reaches 80 million children up to six years of age through 1.4 million centres.
National creche scheme 2020 operates nearly 6500 creches and help mothers to build stable career.
Today the women’s labour force participation rate in India is 32.8% according to the government sources and 24% according to the World Bank, compared to China’s 61%, Bangladesh’s 38%, Nepal’s 29% and Pakistan’s 25%.
If India wants to raise its FLPR to empower its women, myth around women’s work must be dispelled and women’s work must both be counted appropriately and supported fairly.