- Recently, data shared by the government shows increased participation of women on the payrolls of public sector banks.
- According to data shared by the Minister of State for Finance, in the Lok Sabha
- The proportion of women employees has increased over the past year in most public sector banks.
- In three public sector banks women employees constitute 30% or more of the total work force.
- Indian Overseas Bank had the highest share of female staffers in their total staff strength at 36%
- Cabinet committee on Empowerment Of Women in its fourth report (16 th lok sabha) considered the working condition of women in public sector banks. It had the following suggestions
- It found representation of women in high grades low and asked the government to treat it as an issue of high priority.
- It called on the government to revisit policies regarding posting /transfer of women to distant places.
- It found low awareness among women employees regarding the venues available to them for prevention of sexual harassment at work place.
Women’s Labour force participation
- Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that India’s Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has fallen to just 40% from an already low 47% in 2016.
- The main reason for India’s LFPR being low is the abysmally low level of female LFPR. According to CMIE data, as of December 2021, while the male LFPR was 67.4%, the female LFPR was as low as 9.4%.
- India ranks 135 among a total of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2022, which slipped from 112th position in 2020.
- According to the World Bank.From 30.7% in 2006, the proportion of working age women taking part in paid work dropped to 19.2% in 2021,
Reasons for Low Participation
- Lack of opportunities: Rural distress has affected women the most as income-generating opportunities have disappeared. The lack of suitable job opportunities is acute for women in rural India.
- Women education: India is one of the most climatically vulnerable places. All the improvements done over decades could be erased in an instance by Natural calamity; the poor public infrastructure and limited state capacity make the task difficult.
- Rising income among urban population: It has removed the economic incentive for women to work .
- Unpaid work: Most Indian women are deeply engaged in running households, which is unpaid work, and does not count as being part of the workforce.
- Demand-supply gap in employment: The country has not created enough jobs and the demand-supply gap in employment opportunities results in women deciding to stay at home.
- Working Conditions: The non-availability of white collar jobs, disproportionate long hours and lesser job security restricts the job opportunities for educated women in India.
- The Maternity Benefit Act entitles a woman working in the organized sector to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. With regard to childcare, the Act has created a provision to provide for crèche facilities in every establishment having 50 or more workers.
- The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, defines sexual harassment at the workplace and creates an organisational mechanism for redressal of complaints.
- Equal Remuneration Act, 1976; Factories (Amendment) Act, 1948 also seek to provide equality and fairness in women working conditions.
- Government policies should also start targeting women workers in the unorganised sector which houses the largest number of females and has little to no penetration of schemes.
- Apart from this Provision of amenities and basic infrastructure such as childcare facilities will go a long way in welcoming the entry of women into the labour force