Bridging gender pay gap, paternity leave mooted to boost women’s work

The Economic Survey has rooted for paternity leave and suggested bridging the gender pay gap as part of a larger institutional support system to encourage participation of women in the labour force and highlighted that women shouldered much higher amount of unpaid care work than men.

“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,” the Economic Survey said in its report.

It added that workplaces must also promote “non-discriminatory” practices such as pay and career growth, improved incentives which could include medical and social security benefits for women workers.

It suggested these measures to address the low female labour force participation rate (LFPR), which it says “is attributed to high participation of women (15 years & above) in domestic duties, that is 55.7% in rural areas and 59.1% in urban areas in 2018-19.”

The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of females in the reproductive age of 15-59 years was 26.5% in 2018-2019 as compared to 80.3% for men.

The National Statistical Office ‘s Time Use Survey for January-December 2019 revealed how men and women spend their time in various activities in a 24-hour time period. It showed that women spent two to threefolds the time men spent on unpaid domestic services (315 minutes by women versus 95 by men) and unpaid care-giving services to household members (137 minutes by women versus 73 by men).

Additionally, time spent on unpaid care work did not change for women with attainment of higher education levels.

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