In a report titled 'Mind The Gap – the State of Employment in India', Oxfam India's newest report touched upon the lack of quality work in India and how an increase in the wage gap is ensuring that women are left out of the workforce. Also, on average, women are being paid 34 percent less than male workers for doing the same sort of work.
There is also a supply and demand challenge
Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said, "Despite the rhetoric of job creation and ensuring gender justice, the reality is sobering on the ground. The report draws particular attention to women being left out of the economic growth narrative. It shows that women’s participation is low due to a decline in rural jobs, transforming urban areas, unequal pay, the burden of unpaid care work, and the continuing prevalence of regressive social norms." Also, much of this is the effect of policies that famous men instead of women and the fact that the caste system prevents both men and women from securing employment. While a World Bank research revealed that India has grown on average at 7 percent in the last 20 years, however, employment has not been able to catch up such economic development. Meanwhile, there is also a supply and demand challenge wherein there is more demand for farmwork and such sectors are employing more women, and on the other hand, in rural areas, only daughters seem to be pursuing higher education rather than sons.
There needs to be a massive focus on skilling
However, the report also shared that more women are looking for work than ever before due to an increase in the number of females in Indian households and this holds true for both urban and rural homes. Therefore, in order to balance the inequality in the Indian labor market, like address the lack of inclusion and security in the creation of jobs. Also, there needs to be a massive focus on skilling to catch up to the current trends in workplaces across occupations. India has a long way to go in order to catch up to global skill standards and building a skilled workforce is a strong way forward. Amitabh Behar added by saying that "We must make the right policy choices. The formal social security system in India is accessible to only a small percentage of workers and this access is extremely inequitable across sex, social group, religion, and economic class, mirroring labor market outcomes. This inequality can be addressed both through appropriate labor policy instruments and by an expansion of social security among uncovered workers"
Image credit: International Business Times