Reports about employment in India claim that some 90 percent of Indian women are out of the mainstream workforce. While there’re claims of various types that strive to indicate that most Indian women are away from the workforce, these assertions might not be totally accurate.
It’s a fact that the majority of the workforce in India consists of men. However, these facts don’t really prove that women are out of the workforce, either in rural or urban areas of India. As a matter of fact, more women are joining the workforce in 2022 after the pandemic.
There’re several reasons why women are now clamoring to join the workforce, either as formal employees or freelancers or even entrepreneurs.
The main reason being, the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021 proved that running a household on a single income can prove disastrous.
With many men losing their jobs during the economic downturns caused by the pandemic, savings of each household has taken a severe beating. In some cases, savings have dwindled drastically while in others, they have vanished altogether.
With India rapidly crossing milestones in vaccines against the Covid-19 pandemic, most women that had lost their jobs during 2020 and 2021 are now back as applicants or even working in 2022. A lot of others are now working as freelancers or have started own small enterprises.
One has to consider that bulk of the rural women work on agricultural jobs, either on own farms or those of others. These women often receive vocational and agricultural training from NGOs and large corporations that have Corporate Social Responsibility projects. For example, some of the projects launched by the state-owned Bharat Petroleum, are specifically aimed at empowering women to find own sources of income.
Also, one of the major reasons driving women to the workforce again is the rising inflation. As the Indian Rupee declines rapidly against the US Dollar and other major currencies, an increasing number of households are finding that a single-income model doesn’t really work well.
As a matter of fact, with growing consumerism and the quest for new-fangled gadgets and other stuff in India, people are spending more than before. This necessitates a second income for every household too.
And finally, India is also witnessing a digital revolution of sorts. “There’re plenty of courses in the field of digital marketing that especially appeal to women. They take these courses to launch home-based enterprises in the field of digital marketing,”.
“These courses are economically priced and short-term, usually for four to six months duration. Women learn such courses and offer digital marketing services such as content creation, search engine optimization and social media marketing or management from home,” he adds.
The Indian government also reserves one-third of its jobs for women applicants. These jobs are hotly contested and often have more women applicants than necessary to meet the 33.33 percent quota.
Therefore, in the coming months, we can expect more women to join the formal and informal workforce of India.