Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development in India
Women are making significant contributions to global economies through their various activities. However, they remain among the world’s most economically disadvantaged groups.
They are always disproportionately discriminated against in the labour market for their gender, contending with low-skilled and informal jobs. So they often remain outside the ambit of financial inclusion, which results in poor access to formal banking systems and credit.
Women are also sometimes curtailed by social and cultural barriers which force them to bear the brunt of unpaid work and prevent them from investing in their own well-being and attaining their pursuit of economic opportunities.
So in this blog, we are going to discuss how women’s empowerment and the economic development of India are co-related.
Factors affecting women empowerment
Responsibility for children and household
You may find these days there are plentiful jobs specifically in the labour sector. So before going to know how women’s empowerment impacts economic development, we should address why jobs are plentiful while workers are scarce to have a fair idea about women’s empowerment in India.
Prolonged school closures during the pandemic and the high scarcity of childcare services put an extra burden on mothers of young children and women workers pushing many of them to leave the labour force, which is the so-called she-cession these days.
A new staff research paper by IMF estimates that the excess employment contraction for mothers of children who are younger than 5 when compared with other women is detected for around 16 percent of the total employment gap in different places in the United States versus pre-pandemic levels.
Taxes! Does tax policy affect gender equality and women empowerment? But how?
New research by the IMF considers and accounted for implicit and explicit gender biases and different corrective taxation, looking at household taxation, capital and wealth taxes, along with consumption taxes.
Tackling different legal impediments to the economic empowerment of women
There are certain laws in the country that can often perpetuate different gender norms that limit the economic participation of women. In a recent working paper, women workers and staff outline the different types of legal barriers to the economic empowerment of women and elaborate on how to reform them like parental leave to parents can effectively promote gender equality and incentives women to participate in the workforce.
Unleashing the human capital of women and girls
Human capital across most Asian and African countries specifically in India, females fall behind males in terms of human capital and related measures.
The World Bank economists highlight how investments in girls and women unlock the potential and spur the recovery of a journaling journal.
Domestic violence is a threat to economic development
As all of you know India is a part of the shadow pandemic which means it is suspected to increase physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women and girls during this lockdown and societal turmoil. Such domestic violence in different parts of the country imperils economic development in India.
A study from. Satellite data on nighttime lights shows that an increase in violence by 1 percentage against women can reduce economic development by up to 8 percent.
Climate action advances gender equality
When climate adaptation interventions are often ignored as an important factor in gender inequalities it severely includes reduced access to education and employment. Climate actions only encourage new types of exclusion. So women and girls are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and pay a higher price in terms of gender inequality and women empowerment.
Benefits of women’s economic empowerment
Women’s economic empowerment holds a central position to realise different rights of women and gender equality. Women’s economic empowerment includes the ability of women to participate equally in existing markets and having access to and control over a variety of productive resources, control over their own time, access to decent work, lives and bodies; and increased voice by women, their meaningful participation in different economic decision-making at all levels starting from the household to international institutions.
Women empowerment in the Indian economy and enclosing gender gaps in the world of work are the essential and primary keys to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, achieving gender equality, and to promote full and productive employment and provide decent work for all. Apart from that, it helps in ending poverty, providing food security, and ensuring health opportunities for all workers.
When more women work, economies will grow automatically. Women’s economic empowerment will boost the productivity of the country by increasing economic diversification and income equality along with providing other positive development outcomes.
Increasing female employment rates in our countries could boost GDP and recognizing that growth will automatically lead to a reduction in gender-based inequality.
Apart from that, it is estimated that the gender gaps cost the economy some 15 percent of GDP. So Increasing women’s and girls’ educational attainment will contribute to the economic empowerment of women and more inclusive economic growth.
Providing adequate education, upskilling and reskilling the women over the life course especially to keep their pace with rapid technological and digital transformations that affect jobs are very crucial for women’s and girl’s health and well-being, along with their income-generation opportunities and participation in the formal labour market.
However, for the majority of girls and women, significant gains in education and proper skilling have not translated into better labour market outcomes.
Women’s economic equality and women’s empowerment are also good for business. Different companies have shown greater benefits in recent days from increasing employment and leadership opportunities for women, which also increases organizational effectiveness and growth.
It is estimated with proof that companies that have three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational performance.
The bottom line
Women empowerment and economic development are indeed closely related. In one direction, when the development of a country alone can play a primary role in driving down inequality between men and women; in the other direction, women’s empowerment may also benefit development.
Thus it implies that pushing just one of these two levers would definitely set a virtuous circle in motion.
Women’s empowerment and economic development seem to be too weak to be self-sustaining, and this continuous policy commitment to equality for its own sake may be needed to bring about equality between men and women and foster women’s empowerment.
*image source from Google
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