UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 08 March 2022

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What’s the article is about?

The article talks about the opportunities for women, the challenges they face, and the measures needed.

Syllabus: GS1,2 Role of Women and schemes for vulnerable sections.


  • Female participation in the workforce dropped from 32% in 2005 to 21% in 2019.
  • India’s FLFP(female labor force participation) is lower in BRICS nations and also in neighborhood countries.
  • Gender wage gap: As per Oxfam, Women on average are paid 34% less than similarly qualified male workers for performing the same tasks.
  • Over-representation of women in unpaid care work: The report mind the gap by Oxfam India has pointed out that if unpaid care and household activities are included in the NSSO’s definition of work, the FLFP in 2011-12 would rise from 20.5 % to 81.7%, more than that of men.

Challenges faced by women to work

  • Women education: Data from the NSSO show that education and employment have a U-shaped relationship (a rise and subsequent decline in employment with the rise in education levels)
  • Leaky pipeline syndrome: Where there will be a break in career for women due to pregnancy.
  • Motherhood punishment: Women take care of the home and also office work hence the dual burden of work.
  • Patriarchal mindset: With an excessive focus on marriage rather than higher education and job access.
  • Instances of violence such as rape, molestation, and also workplace harassment act as barriers to women's participation.
  • Low pay for women for doing equal work as compared to men.
  • Digital divide: As per GSMA mobile gender gap report, it said only 25% of females own a mobile phone compared to 41% of men in 2020.
  • Mobility: Industries and companies located far from houses, women need to travel a lot and lack safe mobility.

Sectors with potential for women.

  • Health care workforce: Women make up 80% of all healthcare workforce in nurses and midwives.
  • Education sector: In primary and secondary education, female teachers dominate the most.
  • Gig platform: Where it provides job flexibility and also a work-from-home opportunity that has the potential to attract women.

Measures needed:

  • Investment in healthcare facilities. As per ILO investment will not only help in creating a productive workforce but also jobs to 69 million by 2030.
  • Access to education(both primary and higher) and skill training to women increase their employability.
  • Motivation and incentives to women and their families to take up higher education and research field.
  • Cooperative federalism: Constantly dialogue with states in order to improve FLFP.
  • Inter-ministerial coordination and a holistic approach are needed.

India with a youth population, women should also be actively promoted in order to contribute to the economy and boost GDP.

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