India’s female labour participation fell to 16.1%
This was attributed to the impact of the pandemic and the subsequent labour crisis.
A study by the Ministry of Statistics showed that the percentage of women in the country’s workforce fell to a historical low of 15.5% in the second quarter last year, when India imposed a strict lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. The rate rose marginally to 16.1% in the third quarter.
Less than one third of women aged 15 and above are employed or actively looking for work, according to the study. This is probably due to low literacy rates among women in India because the majority of employed women in the country work in low-skilled jobs such as in agriculture, factories and domestic services, all of which have been severely affected by the pandemic.
Last year’s third-quarter statistics, the most recent period for which data was provided by the ministry, also showed that the unemployment rate of 15.8% for women was higher than the 12.6% for male workers.
After pandemic restrictions were relaxed as infections dropped from May 2021 peaks, most economic activities have resumed in the country.
This is likely to help create more jobs for all workers, said government officials. Recent data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed that the unemployment rate in India fell to 6.95% in July from 9.17% in June, according to DNA India.