The level of participation of women in India’s job market is coming down, which is a matter of “some concern”, International Labour Organisation (ILO) said today.
“One of the issues is the question of gender and that of women’s participation in labour market. There is considerable difference between the level of men’s participation in labour market and that of the women,” ILO Director General Guy Ryder told reporters here after meeting Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya here.
He further said: “India is not the only country in that situation, but the international comparison is pretty big. Prehaps, more worryingly, the level of women’s participation is going down rather than improving and I think that is a source of some concern.”
According to a study by the International Monetary Fund in November last year, India’s GDP can expand if the number of women workers increases to the same level as that of men.
The gender gap is around 50 per cent in India, compared with an average gap of 12 per cent in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the report had revealed.
Ryder said the ‘World of Work’ is fast changing due to globalisation, technological upgradation, geo-political situations for which collective responses and solutions need to be taken by all the stake holders.
“There is a clearly detectable convergence in priorities and ambitions of the Indian government with the objectives of ILO. Indian government is focussing on rural population and rural economy, which will help the country immensely,” he noted.
Speaking of ILO’s role he said, the ILO can bring three ingredients to these efforts — international experience, international labour standards and social dialogue.
“ILO as a 100 year-old organisation looks forward to strong and practical India leading in achieving ILO objectives,” he said.
Ryder is on a five day visit to India, which commenced on July 5, at the invitation of Dattatreya. He is participating in high-level discussions with government officials and Social Partners.
Ryder also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Presently, 187 countries are members of ILO and India is a founding member of the global body and a permanent member of its Governing Body.
Ryder’s visit comes ahead of meeting of the Employment Working Group of BRICS scheduled to be held on July 27-28 at Hyderabad. It will be followed by the Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meet in September and October this year.