Women, Business and Law 2023 Report: World Bank


    In News

    • Recently, the World Bank released the  Women, Business and the Law 2023 report.

    Highlights Of The Report:

    • The Report relies on eight indicators to measure if women are on an equal standing with men .A perfect score of 100 on the Index means that women are on an equal standing with men.only 14 countries scored a perfect 100
    • India scored 74.4 in the  index which was  higher than the 63.7 average for the South Asian region, but lower than Nepal which had the region’s highest score of 80.6.
      • The Index used data on the laws and regulations applicable in Mumbai, 
      • India gets a perfect score in indicators like constraints on freedom of movement, laws affecting women’s decisions to work, and constraints related to marriage, maritime cooperation
      • India lags behind when it comes to laws affecting women’s pay, laws affecting women’s work after having children, constraints on women starting and running a business, gender differences in property and inheritance, and laws affecting the size of a woman’s pension.

    Suggested Reforms:

    • The report suggests the following measures for improvement
      •  Reforms for improve legal equality for women,
      • mandating equal remuneration for work of equal value,
      • allowing women to work at night in the same way as men, and allowing women to work in an industrial job

    Women’s Workforce Participation in India

    • India has appreciable presence of women in few sectors like
      • Female participation in projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is around 50%.
      • India has highest share of female airline pilots at 15% while the world average is hardly 5%
    • Despite these few areas overall participation of women in economy is less
      • India’s female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is now among the world’s lowest at around 20%, on par with countries like Saudi Arabia.
      • As per a report by the International Labour Organisation, India ranks 121 out of 131 countries on female LFPR.
    • Challenges faced by women labour force :
      • Lack of Economic Empowerment:Even working women are not  financially independent and are expected to hand over the salary to male members of the family.
      • Glass Ceiling effect: women are discriminated against in senior positions. Women  hold only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions, and represent on average 17 percent of global Board positions.
      • Safety Issues: lack of proper policing infrastructure disadvantages women.
      • Social norms: society expects women to be subservient and have family as their first priority.
      • Unequal pay:women are comparatively paid less than men for the same amount of work.Women  earn on average 79 percent of what men earn
      • Role Stereotyping: Certain jobs like teaching,nursing are seen as favourable and they are forced in certain fields rather than  allowing women to freely choose their career. 
    • Government  initiatives for overall empowerment of women:
      • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme: it is an awareness campaign to encourage women’s education
      • Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN) Scheme: Encourages women in the R & D domain by providing financial incentives.
      • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: it is a centrally sponsored maternity benefit programme  executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development
      • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act: provides the frame work for creation of a safe working space for women.
      • Maternity Benefit  Act, 2017 : provides security and maternity benefits for women in the organised sector in the event of pregnancy.

    Way Forward:

    • In order to achieve the goal of a five trillion economy,it is mandatory that the country  utilises its nari-shakti by creating  a supporting gender neutral ecosystem .

    Constitutional Provisions for Women in our Constitution

    • Article 39(a)- The State shall direct its policy towards securing all citizens, men and women, equally, the right to means of livelihood.
    • Article 39(d)- Equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
    • Article 42– The State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
    • Article 51 (A)(e)- To renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women
    • Article 300 (A)- Right of property to women
    • 73rd and 74th Amendment Act 1992- Reservation 1/3rd of seats in local bodies of panchayats and municipalities for women.