Economic Survey recommends equal pay and incentives for female workforce

In a bid to encourage more women in the workforce, the Economic Survey for 2020-21 has suggested support for female workers in terms of child care facilities, family-friendly work environment along with equality in salary and career progression.

The survey tabled by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Friday, said that in order to incentivise more women to join into the labour force, investment in institutional support to affordable and quality child care facilities, paid paternal leave, family-friendly work environment, and support for elderly care needs to be made.

“There is also a need to promote non-discriminatory practices at the workplace like pay and career progression, improve work incentives, including other medical and social security benefits for female workers,” it said.

The document said that the labour force participation rate (LFPR) of females in the productive age (15-59 years) was 26.5 per cent in 2018-19, as compared to 80.3 per cent for males (rural and urban). While 54.7 per cent of urban women were employed in the regular wage/salaried category, about 59.6 per cent of rural females were not only self-employed but 37.9 per cent among them were helpers in household enterprises.

The low female LFPR is attributed to high participation of women (15 years and above) in domestic duties, that is 55.7 per cent in rural areas and 59.1 per cent in urban areas in 2018-19.

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