Ground Report | New Delhi: Unpaid female labour rise; The government’s 2019-2020 employment data, the rate of female participation in the unpaid labor sectors in India has increased. The Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS), which collected data between July 2019 and June 2020, found that the largest increase was in the category of unpaid family workers, which refers to individuals who “live with the owner of the unit and continue to work on a regular basis”. typically work for the unit, but they do not have a contract of service and do not receive a fixed amount for the work they do.”
The work performed by the “increased” workforce was mainly agricultural or domestic in nature, and mostly as part of domestic enterprises.
94% Women Already In Informal Sector
At first glance, the increase in the employment rate for female workers to 35% from the earlier 30% seems like a positive change, but with most of their work unpaid, the increase quickly appears less promising. Particularly because, as 94% of all working women in India are already employed in the informal sector – as domestic workers, farmworkers and construction workers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in October 2020. according to the report.
“If you look at the details, you find that this increase is not in good quality work but in the unpaid family work category or the unorganized sector. This is not something to be happy about,” P.C. Mohanan, former acting head of the National Statistical Commission, told The Indian Express.
45.6% of Increase In Agricultural Employment
In agriculture, which accounts for about 16 percent of GDP, PLFS data show that in 2019-20, the percentage of those working in this sector increased (45.6 percent, see chart). This comes after decades of a progressive decline that signaled a movement for high-productivity jobs outside.
At the same time, the jump for 2019-20 is in line with the decline in manufacturing and construction in the latest survey.
Unpaid female labour rise
The lack of legal and policy frameworks for these sectors is already making it difficult for workers to ensure basic human dignity for themselves. Now, the increasing participation of women in sectors that do not even pay their dues indicates a serious lack of other options.
Radhika Kapoor, Fellow of the Indian Council for Research, said, “Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic and agriculture became the employment of last resort… Even though education levels among women have seen an increase, but for them There aren’t enough good jobs.” On International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said. However, she clarified that “the crisis was brewing before the pandemic struck. GDP had slowed, demand had declined and manufacturing was not expanding.
But Covid19 has certainly worsened the treatment of women in the informal sector, with the 2020 lockdown adversely affecting 91.3% of domestic workers in India. Not only did the pandemic result in the loss of jobs and income for many, but wages and working conditions for others were renegotiated, making their situation worse.