Skip to main content

Gender gap in youth labour market: 'Bias' in hiring, beliefs precede domestic duties

By Alisha Ralph, Akarsh Arora* 

Although India has made significant advancements toward achieving gender equality, there is still an enduring disparity between genders when it comes to employment opportunities for youth. The youth population for males and females is almost the same (nearly 26%) still there is a significant difference in their participation in the labour force.
Young women face multiple barriers to accessing employment, including discrimination, cultural attitudes, and lack of education and skills. The National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship focuses on the promotion of skill development among women and their inclusion in the process to address the issue.

Gender gap explained

The Periodic Labour Force Survey 2021-22 reveals that the labour force participation rate for young men (aged 15-29 years) in India is 61.2%, compared to only 21.7% for young women. Likewise, while the workforce participation rate for men stands at 53.5%, the corresponding rate for women is just 19.1%.
This indicates that young women encounter significant obstacles in obtaining employment, including discrimination in hiring, inadequate availability of education and training opportunities, and cultural beliefs that prioritize their domestic duties over paid work. Almost half of the female youth are involved in domestic duties (45.1%), whereas among males, it is less than one percent (exactly 0.5%).
For vocational and technical training, males receive twice as much training as females, with 20% of males receiving training compared to only 10% of females. Similarly, males receive twice as much technical education as females, with 6% of males receiving education compared to only 3% of females.

Challenges faced by young women

Young women in India face a number of difficulties, including a lack of skills that prevents them from obtaining highly skilled and well-paying employment. Despite equal educational attainment among young men and women, female labour force participation is still much lower than that of males. This is partly because males continue to hold the majority of high-paying positions.
Another difficulty is the underrepresentation of women in self-employment, with only 12.1% of women participating compared to 25% of men. This is due to a number of factors, including restricted access to finance and commercial networks. Given that entrepreneurship plays a significant role in driving innovation and job development, the underrepresentation of women in this industry may be impeding their ability to grow.

Opportunities for promoting gender parity

Despite challenges, there are ways to close the gender gap in young people's employment. In the workplace, achieving gender parity results in more supportive and inclusive policies and procedures. This can involve putting policies like equal pay for equal labour and flexible work schedules into place.
The gender wage gap can be closed by fostering an environment at work that is more welcoming and inclusive for women, especially those who choose to work for themselves. Furthermore, efforts like mentorship programmes, skill-building and training programmes, and programmes for women entrepreneurs can help achieve gender parity by giving young women the tools and support they need to thrive in their chosen professions.
These programmes can assist women in overcoming some of the obstacles they encounter, such as limited access to capital or networks of business contacts, and can help them succeed as business owners or in professions that have historically been dominated by men.
In conclusion, young women in India continue to face numerous obstacles to finding job, contributing to the country's considerable gender disparity in youth employment. A multifaceted strategy will be needed to address these issues, including investments in education and skill development as well as laws and procedures that support gender equality in the workplace.
India can develop a more inclusive and equitable labour market for its young women and realise the full potential of its workforce with the appropriate investments and policies.
---
*Alisha Ralph is Research Scholar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida; Akarsh Arora is Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida

Comments

TRENDING

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer

Report suggests Indian democracy 'hasn't achieved' equitable economic decentralization

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram  The news that the current economic inequality in the country is worse than during British rule is unsettling. This suggests the harsh reality that our democracy has not achieved equitable economic decentralization. A recent report by Thomas Piketty and three other economists reveals shocking findings: in 2023-24, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in India hold 40% of the nation's wealth, with a 22.6% share in income.