[Answered] Women’s workplaces are driving them out of full-time jobs, while the pandemic years have only made things worse. In the light of the statement, highlight the factors that are keeping educated women out of the workforce.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some reasons that are keeping educated women out of the workforce.
Conclusion: Give a way forward.

Women’s engagement in voluntary and paid activities including teaching, home-based marketing, tutoring etc. is increasing irrespective of their higher educational qualifications because it satisfies their hour preferences and solves their constraints. According to ILO, only 43.2 per cent of the world’s working-age women were employed in 2021, compared to 68.6 per cent of working-age men. Globally, between 2019 and 2020, women’s employment declined by 4.2 percent, representing a drop of 54 million jobs.

The following factors are responsible to keep educated women out of the workforce:

  • Lack of family support: Full-time work is not possible without family support as the responsibilities of children and families are naturally on women.
  • Patriarchal mindset: Mostly women’s paid work is labelled as secondary; so, demand for paid work is lower compared to their unpaid work in their houses.
  • Lack of support infrastructure: g., good-quality childcare, elderly care systems, safe public transport, etc. As the childcare system neither meets the needs of working mothers nor children and their security.
  • Rigid workplace systems: Generally, the work environment is highly restrictive rules, regulations, and the lack of flexible hours forces them to opt-out of full-time jobs.
  • Hardest-hit sectors: Due to pandemic, women have suffered disproportionate job and income losses because of their over-representation in the hardest-hit sectors, such as accommodation and food services, and the manufacturing sector.
  • During pandemic, support of domestic workers stopped, and all the burden of the household work fell on women’s shoulders. So, woman now prefers to work intermittently.  

Way forward:

  • For women to work consistently, during pandemics or otherwise, we need stronger supportive infrastructures.
  • Investing in the care economy is desired because the health, social work and education sectors are important generators of jobs, especially for women.
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