Citizens' Issues
Five key lessons about women and work in India
While marginally more women work in India than in Pakistan (27 percent and 25 percent, respectively), Pakistan’s female labour-force participation rate is growing and India’s is declining. The percentage of women working in Bangladesh is three times higher than in India, which ranks last among BRICS countries in terms of women’s labour-force participation -- among G-20 countries, it is second to last, behind only Saudi Arabia.
 
Why might this be? In the South Asian context, on International Women’s Day, our analysis of the state of women and work in India does not offer clear explanation. Countries often experience a dip in women’s labour-force participation as incomes rises and women drop out of low-paying menial work, usually in agriculture. But typically as the economy develops further and education levels rise, more and more women enter the labour force.
 
India’s economy is well beyond the point when large numbers of women would be expected to enter the labour force, based on evidence from other developing nations. And this is no academic concern -- recent estimates project that closing India’s gender gap in labour-force participation would generate a 27 percent net increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
 
But despite the increasing number of women pursuing secondary and post-secondary education, India’s women keep dropping out. Since 2005, more than 25 million Indian women have left the labour force.
 
Working outside the home is associated with a number of positive empowerment outcomes for women. At the household level, women who participate in the labour force marry and have children later, and their children stay in school longer. Even the sisters of women who work marry later.
 
Critically, women who work have greater decision-making power within the household, and make more decisions jointly with their partners. In work we have conducted in northern Madhya Pradesh, we document a correlation between participation in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and higher self-reported levels of empowerment: Women who participate in MGNREGS report higher levels of decision-making power within their households and higher levels of mobility than women who do not participate.
 
On a macro-level, evidence that gender equality (and more specifically, women’s increased labour-force participation) contributes to economic growth is strong. Yet women face discrimination and disadvantage across all aspects of work. They earn less, they participate less, their employment status is more tentative, and the quality of the jobs they perform is lower than men. The International Labor Organization estimates that at the global level, 48% of women’s productive potential is unutilized.
 
The evidence on why so few women in India work - and why even more women are dropping out of workforce - is limited. At Evidence for Policy Design, research has taught us five key lessons about women and work in India:
 
- Women want to work. National Sample Survey (NSS) data show that 31 percent of women who spend the majority of their time performing domestic duties would like some kind of job. The proportion of educated rural women who want to work is even higher: Upwards of 50 percent would like a job apart from their domestic work. If all women who expressed a desire to work did so, Female Labour Force Participation Rate (FLFPR) in India would rise 21 percentage points (78 percent).
 
- Jobs near home attract women. We conducted a pilot survey of rural, below-poverty-line youth in areas around Bhopal. In our study, 93 percent of unemployed female youth said they would take a job if they could work from home or in the village. In contrast to the national labour market, the MGNREGS has seen increased participation from women over the last five years, and now employs slightly more women (52 percent) than men (48 percent).
 
- Social norms are mutable, and broader economic trends and government policies matter. The Operation Blackboard initiative was launched in the 1980s, alongside a 50 percent quota for women teachers. Since then, the education sector has grown to employ the most women outside of agriculture.
 
- Current initiatives such as Skill India, Make in India, and new gender-based quotas - from corporate boards to the police force - can spur positive change. But we need to invest in skill training and job support. More than half of women who would like a job, particularly those in rural areas, say they do not have the skills required for the work they want to do-for example, leatherwork or textile manufacturing.
 
Further, the opportunities that exist need to be equitable. From 2010 to 2012, women’s share in the manufacturing labour-force rose from 15-25 percent, but the gender wage gap across sectors in manufacturing was high-much higher than in services. To increase women’s labour-force participation and wellbeing, current policies must take women into consideration.
 
- Migration for employment remains an under-explored, less supported means to employ women. In one EPoD survey, 62 percent of unemployed female youth-similar to 68 percent of unemployed young men-said they would consider migrating for a job. Migration is difficult, however, and women have particular concerns that must be addressed. Despite reporting they would be willing to consider migrating for work, 69 percent of female youth report it is unsafe to live away from home (this time, in the context of skills training), compared to only 32 percent of male youth. And female respondents were more likely to report they would migrate within their district than males.
 
Effective strategies to increase women’s labour-force participation are poorly understood. Further research is needed to explore these questions. An event called Shrinking Shakti, co-hosted by EPoD’s Rohini Pande and journalist Barkha Dutt on March 7 in Delhi, convened scholars, politicians, executives, journalists, and more to discuss the question. We will be exploring the five points outlined here in greater detail through future columns. With India poised to become the largest economy in the world by 2030, it cannot afford to leave half of its workforce behind.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

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Register also for DND from the app
 
Do you get spam calls and SMSs in your inbox? Do you get irritated by them? Would you like to do something about it, to reduce your burden? India against Spam is the app for you!
 
All service-providers have a specified number to which you can send a spam call or SMS, to report the spam, in a particular format. India against Spam makes it a breeze for you to do that—whenever you get a spam SMS or call, just go to the app, select the intruding SMS or call and tap on send. That’s it. You will receive a confirmation from your service-provider, including a complaint number, and the same sender or caller will never call you back. 
 
Apart from blocking spam messages to you, the service-provider will also take up the matter with the sender and debar him from sending further messages to anyone else. You can now register for DND (do not disturb) service from within the app directly. A great tool for Indians against spam! Please check on https://goo.gl/3awFIS 

User

COMMENTS

Simple Indian

9 months ago

While this App may be handy to register complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls / SMSs, one has to depend on telecom operators to act on these. Unfortunately, that never happens, as the Telecom operators themselves "sell" consumer database to these telemarketing agencies. Had done this several times manually (sending SMS to Telecom operator in TRAI format) and though I got complaint no, after a month or so would get a standard response from operator that my complaint was investigated and found to be incorrect. No mention of which complaint and what was incorrect. Realized late that these very Telecom operators sell consumer database and benefit from such calls n SMSs so why would they block their cash-cows ?
TRAI has to find a better way to deal with telemarketers. Their recent decision to penalize Telecom operators for dropped calls is also pointless, that too with a cap of compensation for only three calls a day, i.e. max Rs. 3. The caller / callee may end up paying much more to make repeat calls to complete the conversation. Also, would be very difficult to prove call drops, and seek meager compensation. Better way would be cap consumers once a certain threshold limit reached for a telecom operator in a circle, depending on spectrum allotted to them.

Nanda Patel

9 months ago

Other good application on the same line you can see is

"True dialler" and "True messenger" It blocks common spammers and common flagged spam messages( throughout world). You don't need to take actions, it's fully automatic and it's free.

Other features include, caller id. If someone is calling you and you don;t have the number in your address book. app decodes this number and shows you who that is.

Hope this helps.

Mobile at Rs251?
Ringing Bell is trying to disrupt the smartphone market with an absurdly low-priced handset. Will it work?
 
As part of ‘Make in India’, a small start-up from Noida, Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, has launched its Freedom 251, a smartphone at just for Rs251. The handset can be purchased from the company’s website and is expected to be delivered by June 2016. The absurdly low price would attract huge attention resulting in bumper sales for the five-month-old company; but will it last? Freedom 251, the smartphone, comes with a four-inch qHD screen, a 3.2 megapixel camera, 3G and is powered by 1.3Ghz quad core processor with 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory that can be expanded up to 32GB via memory card. The device runs on Android 5.1 and has some pre-installed apps like Women Safety, Swachh Bharat, Fisherman, Farmer, Medical, WhatsApp, Facebook. It has a battery of 1450mAh. In short, this is a basic smartphone at a ridiculously low price. 
 
As of now, Ringing Bell has only launched four handsets only one of which is a smartphone, namely Smart 101. The rest are basic, or feature, phones. It sells all its mobile phones from its website. Smart 101 comes with five-inch qHD IPS display, 4G, 1.3GHz quad core processor and 1GB RAM (like Freedom 251), 8MP camera and 2800mAh battery. It is sold for Rs2,999. According to the company, it can provide talk-time of 10 hours on 3G and eight hours on 4G. In short, you will need to carry your mobile charger with you most of the time. I mentioned this just to highlight the battery capacity of Freedom 251. The lowest priced handset has a battery of just 1,450mAh and comes with several battery-guzzling apps pre-installed. So, if the user is using the handset only for calls, it may last for about six-eight hours. But if the user is using data connection and the apps, like WhatsApp or Facebook, the battery may not even last for four hours. This may be a big issue, especially in rural areas, where access to electric power supply points (for battery charging) is limited.
 
The Indian consumer prefers value-for-money deals. This means that irrespective of the price factor, whether low or high, Indian buyers choose the product that offers maximum value for money. While we can understand that lowest price does not mean the best of features, it should provide minimum features at least.
 
Also, the price point, at which Freedom 251 is being launched, is something very disruptive and may even be deceptive, for some. On the website, one can buy a maximum of 99 handsets at Rs251 each, excluding Rs40 as shipment cost per device. The money has to be paid in advance and Ringing Bell says the handset will be delivered in four months.
 
What several of us would find hard to believe is the price of Rs251 for a mobile phone. Even a basic feature phone, from reputed brands, costs over Rs700. How can anyone sell a smartphone for such a low price? In fact, even the battery or a handset from some known brands costs more. But, this may be part of Ringing Bell’s marketing strategy to gain entry into the consumer’s mind. 
 
Remember, Reliance Infocomm’s offers during its launch phase? At that time, Reliance Infocomm offered handsets with monthly payments, instead of people paying huge sums upfront for buying it. This strategy helped the company to gain rapid entry into the mobile market. However, it was the Reliance group with deep pockets. The same cannot hold for a five-month-old company, whose promoters Mohit Kumar Goel, Sushma Devi and Rajesh Kumar hail from western Uttar Pradesh with a family background in agricultural commodity business. 
 
Hope Ringing Bell would remain afloat and sustain its market to keep Freedom 251 alive for a long time. 

User

COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

9 months ago

Mobile for Rs.251 is like Rajkaoor's film Shri 420, in which some one promised house for Rs.100/- (then it was possible to get 1RK of area 150 sq.ft for Rs.3,000/- at Thane.

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