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India making efforts to reduce gender gap in labour force: Gangwar

India is making collective efforts to reduce gender gaps in labour force participation, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said on Wednesday.

Santosh Kumar Gangwar | gender gap | Labourer

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar
Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar

India is making collective efforts to reduce gender gaps in labour force participation, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said on Wednesday.

He said the country is ensuring education, training, skilling, entrepreneurship development and equal pay for equal work.

Gangwar was delivering Ministerial Address on Declaration and Employment Working Group Priorities at G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting.

The new Code on Wages 2019 shall reduce gender-based discrimination in wages, recruitment and conditions of employment, a labour ministry statement quoted him as saying.

Listing the steps taken by the government, he said women are entitled for all types of work in all establishments and employers have to ensure their safety and provisions for working hours.

Women can now work even during night hours, Gangwar said, adding that the duration of paid maternity leave has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

Further, the labour minister said Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana provides financial support to women entrepreneurs to start small enterprises. Collateral free loans worth Rs 9 lakh crore have been disbursed under this scheme. There are around 70 per cent accounts of women in this scheme, the ministry stated.

Gangwar said the new Code on Social Security may now include even self-employed and all other classes of workforce into the folds of social security coverage.

A voluntary and contributory pension scheme introduced in 2019 for the unorganised sector workers provides for minimum assured pension after the age of 60 years.

While supporting the adoption of the Joint Ministerial Declaration, Gangwar emphasised that such an initiative by the member countries shall be very helpful for the overall development and capacity building of the entire young generation, which is rapidly evolving and has now become more challenging due to the pandemic.

The Employment Working Group deliberated upon key issues, including women employment, social security and remote working.

In 2014, G20 leaders pledged in Brisbane to reduce the gap in labour force participation rate between men and women by 25 per cent by 2025, with the aim of bringing 100 million women into the labour market, increasing global and inclusive growth, and reducing poverty and inequality.

In recent years, almost all G20 countries made progress in terms of equal opportunities, participation of women in the labour market and reduction of the gender pay gap. The process of reducing gender inequalities has slowed down due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.

The measures implemented by G20 countries helped mitigate the employment and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, evidence from many countries shows a disproportionate impact on women.

Acknowledging the risk of increasing gender inequalities in labour markets and societies, G20 leaders at the Riyadh Summit called for a roadmap to achieve the Brisbane goal along with improving the quality of women's employment.

In response to this call, the G20 Roadmap Towards and Beyond the Brisbane Target has been developed for achieving equal opportunities and outcomes for women and men in the labour markets as well as societies in general.

Many factors continue to hinder the participation of women in the labour market and the improvement of the quality of their employment. Overcoming these barriers is key to achieving not only the Brisbane target and previous commitments of member states, but also aiming at full gender equality in the labour market and in societies.

To achieve this goal, it should be ensured that policy measures are informed, by behavioural insights, based on data and evidence and adapted in accordance with national circumstances.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, June 23 2021. 22:01 IST