Team Blitz India
AMID concerns over suboptimal rate of female labour force participation in the country, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the Ministry of Women & Child Development have launched a new survey on “increasing women participation in the workforce”.
The EPFO, which is the retirement fund body for organised sector workers under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has reached out to its subscribers seeking details regarding the facilities available for women workers in companies across the country, including provision of flexibility in working hours for women and ‘equal pay’ for female workers.
The survey has a detailed questionnaire seeking organisation details, whether or not there is an internal complaints committee for addressing Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) formalities, crèche facilities for children, and whether transportation facilities are provided to workers during late hours.
The survey questionnaire has been shared by EPFO with its 30 crore subscribers across 21.23 lakh establishments in 196 industrial categories.
Official data shows that women’s Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has improved over the last few years but much of this increase has been seen in the unpaid work category. As per the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), the female participation rate increased to 27.8 per cent in 2022-23 from 17.5 per cent in 2017-18, but a major chunk of this increase is accounted for by women reported as employed as “helpers in household enterprises”, who do not receive any regular salary or wages for their work.
As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, female LFPR reduced to 8.73 per cent in 2022-23 from 11.80 per cent in 2017-18. In rural areas it slowed to 9.68 per cent in 2022-23 from 12.16 per cent in 2017-18, while in urban areas it moderated to 6.90 per cent in 2022-23 from 11.10 per cent in 2017-18.
Globally, the South Asia region had a female LFPR of 26 per cent in 2022, with Sri Lanka reporting female LFPR of 33 per cent; Pakistan 25 per cent; Nepal 29 per cent; Bangladesh 38 per cent and China 61 per cent, as per World Bank.