This is what keeps educated women out of the workforce 

News: Recently, an International Deloitte survey report was released. The survey finds that there is a trend of low and declining levels of women’s workforce participation in economic activities. Further, the trend has been worsened during the pandemic years 

What are the challenges in front of women to participate in economic activities? 

First, there are various factors which influence the decisions of non-working women. Second, they can act as demand and supply side drivers. Some of them are mentioned as below:  

There is a social environment, wherein the boys are expected to be the breadwinners while girls are expected to perform functions of care and reproductive work. 

There are rigid workplace demands, lack of sustained family/social support, personal responsibility to guide children and ensure their security. This reflects absence of good-quality childcare, counselling and mentoring.  

How do these factors play out in the lives of women? 

The situations create a social environment for girls wherein they go to school and college while they are waiting to marry. In case of working women, they have to face periods of hectic work interspersed by spells of no work.  

Domestic situations like concerns over the security of school-going children, and critical moments like “students being at the end of school and college entry” force the working women to give up the job.  

The situations impact the choices of women. The women are driven out of full-time jobs from the workplaces. They shift to voluntary work or paid activities (often intermittent work) including teaching, home-based marketing, consulting, tutoring etc.  

Way Forward 

There is a requirement of providing the stronger supportive infrastructures to women to ensure they work consistently during pandemics or otherwise. 

Source: The post is based on an article “This is what keeps educated women out of the workforce” published in the Indian Express on 05th May 2022. 

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