India has one of the highest unemployment rates in women

There is a 52 percentage point difference in the employment rates of men and women in India

By Kundan Pandey
Published: Thursday 05 December 2019
Currently, unemployment among young, educated women in urban areas is quite higher. Photo: Getty Images

India is one of the worst countries for working women. The OECD Economic Survey of India found the country has the largest difference between employment rates of women and men among OECD nations at 52 percentage points. Turkey comes next with a difference of 37 percentage point. Sweden and Norway are best in the category with less than five percentage point difference.

Employment rate in women

Currently, unemployment among young, educated women in urban areas is quite higher, the report says, adding that underemployment and poor job quality remain important issues. The employment gap between women and men is highest 15 to 29 years bracket. The report estimates that 11 million people enter the labour market every year and that the employment rate has also declined in the country.

Unemployment rate

Data gaps

The report also says the government’s failure to publish comprehensive official labour data regularly is hindering the assessment of policy outcomes and priorities.  The comprehensive national household (NSSO) survey is carried out every five years and published even later. The survey report for the period June 2017 to June 2018 was published in June 2019. The Centre had immediately withdrawn the numbers citing technical issues. There were allegations that the government deliberately withheld the data as it showed rising unemployment in the country. The Centre has also discontinued several other official surveys including the Annual Survey by the Labour Bureau, the quarterly employment survey and the Annual Surveys of Industries. The report suggests that improving the quality and timeliness of data should be a key objective.

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