Why Indian dream of third largest economy must include women in it
India's aim of becoming the third-largest economy by 2028 must include an enhanced participation of women in the formal sector, and manufacturing can help in it.
Gender Disparities in Financial Security
- Gender Gap in National Pension Schemes: NPS data shows that only 22% women subscribers of APY slightly better at 46:54. Gender disparities rooted in informal work and biological roles.
- Challenges in Maternity Benefits: The Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 offers paid leave but applies mainly to establishments with over ten employees, leaving the vast informal sector uncovered.
- Sexual Harassment Protection: The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act of 2013 requires local committees for informal sector cases but faces implementation challenges.
Need for Gender-Inclusive Growth
- Low Female Labour Force Participation: India's female labour force participation rate is one of the world's lowest, particularly among G20 nations, at 23%.
- Importance of Formal Employment: Gender-inclusive growth is vital for empowering women in decision-making and socio-political independence.
- Creating Formal employment: India must prioritize gender inclusivity in formal employment, including the manufacturing sector, to harness its economic potential.
Fostering Inclusive Workforce Participation
- Opportunities in the Manufacturing Sector: Female participation in the sector has been stagnant, hovering around 20%, lagging behind East Asian and Pacific countries.
- Path to Economic Empowerment: Fostering gender-inclusive growth will not only empower women but also contribute significantly to the nation's economic progress.
- Way forward: India's aspirations in the global economic landscape depend on equal opportunities and a diverse, inclusive workforce.