Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ads by Google

Ads by Google

HomeNewsEmployed women do 6 times more unpaid care work than males

Employed women do 6 times more unpaid care work than males

NEW DELHI: Drawing focus on data that show Indian women in paid employment take on approximately six times more unpaid care work than employed men and the changing demographic landscape of India, a new strategy paper on care economy highlights the need for reworking leave policies, subsidise care service while creating infrastructure and build institutional mechanisms to deal with emerging challenges.

It estimates that women’s unpaid care and domestic work represents an economic value of almost 15%-17% of India’s GDP.

The policy brief has been prepared as part of a project on ‘Formulating a Strategy for India’s Care Economy: Unlocking Opportunities’ led by Karmannaya Counsel, CII and Nikore Associates with the support of the ministry of women and children development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Releasing the policy brief earlier this week, WCD minister Smriti Irani in a post on X said, “Women’s care work contributes nearly 6.6% to the global GDP, highlighting its profound economic impact..

. In India, the gender disparity in unpaid care and domestic work is stark, with women shouldering eight times more care and domestic responsibilities than men,” she added

Citing United Nations Population Fund study estimates on the demographic landscape of India, the policy brief highlights that 25% of the country’s population as of 2022, is between the ages of 0-14 years, and 10.5% above 60 years. By 2050, the proportion of elderly persons is expected to increase to 20.8% of the population, i.e.

about 347 million persons, it said. Moreover, even as the proportion of children reduces marginally to 18%, the number of children will still be close to 300 million.

Evidence from the International Labour Organisation suggests that increasing investments in care services sector have the potential to generate 475 million jobs globally by 2030. For India, direct public investment equivalent to 2% of GDP can potentially generate 11 million jobs, nearly 70% of which will go to women.

Against this backdrop, this policy brief presents a roadmap to develop a strategy for bridging the gender gaps and recommends focus on five pillars: leave policies; subsidies for care services; investment in care infrastructure; skill training for care workers; and institutional mechanisms for quality assurance.

The policy brief draws attention to a recent advisory for employers to promote women workforce participation, issued by the ministry of labour and employment (MoLE), which advises employers to ensure a balance between employment and caregiving responsibilities for both men and women.

It is recommended that, based on this advisory, govt can introduce regulations encompassing three areas: financial support to MSMEs and startups for maternity leave; new regulations around parental leave; and regulatory frameworks around care work leave and flexible work options.