COVID-19 has led to alarming drop in female employment rate in India

According to a government analysis, the participation of women in the labor market in India fell to 16.1% in the July-September 2020 quarter, the lowest among major countries, showing the impact of the epidemic and a growing jobs crisis.

According to the study released on Monday by the Statistics Ministry, the percentage of women in the labor force fell to an all-time low of 15.5% in the April-June 2020 quarter, when India imposed a strict lockdown for prevent the spread of COVID. -19 viruses.

However, Covid-19 only made matters worse, as things were already bad in the years leading up to the outbreak.

Indian women do extraordinarily well in all fields, be it athletics, politics or technology. However, India has one of the lowest labor force participation rates in the world.

Data from the World Bank indicates that the rate of female participation in the labor market in India fell to 20.3% in 2019, from more than 26% in 2005, while neighboring countries are doing relatively well in India. their participation in the labor market, with 30.5% in Bangladesh and 33.7% in Sri Lanka. .

According to the study, less than a third of women aged 15 and over are employed or actively seeking employment.

Women’s literacy rates in India have an impact on these numbers as the majority of employed women in India are in low-skilled jobs including agriculture and factory work, as well as domestic services, all of which have been heavily impacted. damaged by the pandemic.

In the three months ending in September 2020, the most recent period for which data was provided, the unemployment rate for women reached 15.8%, compared to 12.6% for men.

After state governments relaxed pandemic restrictions in response to a drop in coronavirus infections since the peaks in May, most economic activity has resumed in the country.

According to government officials, this should help create more jobs for all workers. India’s unemployment rate fell to 6.95% in July from 9.17% in June, according to data released Monday by the CMIE (Center for Monitoring the Indian Economy).

Many private economists have predicted that the slow pace of vaccination and a drop in consumer demand could hamper growth, and that the economy will not reach its pre-COVID level until March 2022.

Asia’s third-largest economy is expected to grow 8-9% year-on-year in current fiscal year, after falling 7.3% in fiscal year ended March, the worst recession in the previous seven decades .


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