Missing women in India's labour force
Even as the mechanisation of agriculture has taken place over the last decade, there is still significant physical labour involved. Labour productivity has not meaningfully increased in many of the occupations noted above. In such a situation, women, whose wages have gone up much more than menís, become less profitable to employ for a farm-owner. We hypothesise that the implementation of minimum wage has meant workers with low productivity have been priced out of the market, reflecting in fewer employment opportunities for women at higher price points.
We note that women form a disproportionately large group in MGNREGA person-days as compared to their proportion in the rural labour force. This leads us to believe that women who are increasingly being priced out of the agricultural labour market are taking shelter in MGNREGA work schemes. Ideally, the focus should be on improving the productivity of the female workforce via skill development: This would enable them to move beyond the minimum-wage band and command employment
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