Employment gap in India caused by gender discrimination

The likelihood that women will participate in salaried or self-employed jobs does not increase with their degree of education, a new report has found.
By: | September 19, 2022

Gender discrimination is responsible for 98% of the employment gap between males and females in India, according to an analysis by the non-governmental organisation Oxfam India.

Titled India Discrimination Report 2022, the report further revealed that self-employed urban males earn 2.5 times more than their female counterparts, and highlighted that “the employment status of women does not depend on their educational qualifications”.

Professor Amitabh Kundu, lead author of the report, explained, “This is partly because women candidates are not selected by employers due to their gender-linked prejudices. More importantly, a sizable segment of qualified women is not available in the labour market because of ‘family responsibilities’ or the need to conform to social norms, status within the caste hierarchy and community, family traditions, etc, that are often at odds with participation in the labour force.”

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Oxfam, which analysed data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey, found that although the chances of getting employed at older ages are greater for both genders, men can land roles easier compared to women of the same age.

As the education level of the heads of households increases, women’s probability of participation in salaried or self-employed work also decreases, often due to socio-cultural reasons.