Women’s Work and Wages Continue at Abysmal Levels - Subodh Varma

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published Published on Mar 12, 2023   modified Modified on Mar 13, 2023


The share of women who are earning through work continues to remain shockingly low in India according to the latest data from the annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2021-22 released last month. The report, compiled by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under the ministry of statistics, also provides a glimpse of the unconscionable gap between the earnings of men and women.

In rural areas, about 57% of men are in the labour force but only 27% of women. In urban areas, the situation is worse – men’s participation in the labour force is 58% while women’s is down to just 19%. Overall, this gives an average of 57% labour force participation for men and 25% for women. Labour force participation is the proportion of persons that are either employed or unemployed but seeking work.

Women’s labour force participation has broadly declined in the past three decades. Seen in the larger context of persistent unemployment and very minor growth of jobs generally, this speaks of a systemic obstacle to employment growth that successive governments and their economic policies have failed to address. With the new political attention on women as voters, it is strange that one of the key deprivations that women face – lack of job opportunities – remains a neglected policy area. But then, employment itself has become a neglected area, especially under the present government.

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Subodh Varma, Newsclick, 12 March, 2023, https://www.newsclick.in/womens-work-and-wages-continue-abysmal-levels

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