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A large section of women are vanishing from the workforce in India

BI India Bureau | Jun 17, 2019, 05.21PM IST

  • India does not feature in the list of the 10 countries to have the best conditions for working women.
  • Over 90% of the 10 million job job lost last year were reported by women according to CMIE.
The female workforce in India has seen a striking decline over the years. Only a quarter of women who can work, are working, as per periodic labour force survey (PLFS) data published by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).

India has a significantly low female labour participation rate (LFPR)-- the percentage of working age women who are employed, or are available to work. This is at 23% in 2017-2018, which came down from 31% in 2011-12.

Unsurprisingly, India is behind nine others in terms of the lowest proportion of working women, the data says. It also does not feature in the list of the 10 countries which have the best conditions for working women. Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand are amongst those which occupied the coveted spots.

Those who were working did not have it easy either. Over 90% of the 10 million jobs lost last year were reported by women, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The women working in the informal sector are going through job crisis, said a Reuters report.


Fewer women managers

According to media reports, Asia and the Pacific had the lowest percentage of women in managerial positions, at 24%. For other continents, including Europe, this number is at 70.8%.

What is worse is that educated women are failing to contribute to the economy. Women constitute 42% of graduates in the country but only 24 percent of them turn up as entry-level professionals.

This curve tapers sharply at the top. The number of women at senior management role is as low as 10%. As a result, a miniscule 1% of women occupy CEO-level positions.

According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, 21% of publicly listed companies do not adhere to the mandate of appointing women directors to the board.
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