Number of working women rising

New Delhi, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2006, 05:30am hrs
The work participation rate of women has shown a continuous rise since 1981. However, womens participation in the workforce is still substantially low, according to the labour and employment ministry. The main reason cited for women lagging behind men is lack of education and skills.

According to the Registrar General of India, the work participation rate of women increased from 19.67% in 1981 to 25.68% in 2001, with a higher rate in rural areas at 30.98%, compared with only 11.55% in urban areas, a ministry release said here on Tuesday.

In rural areas, women mainly worked as cultivators and agricultural labourers, while in urban areas, almost 80% of them were engaged in the unorganised sector, like household industries, petty trade and services and construction activity.

In the organised sector, women workers constituted 18.4% as on March 31, 2003, of which about 49.68 lakh women were employed in the public and private sectors. Of these, nearly 28.12 lakh worked in the community, social and personnel services sector, the release added.

In an effort to improve the employability of women, the Directorate General of Employment and Training has set up one national and 10 regional vocational training institutes for skill/vocational training.

So far, about 43,336 women have been trained in these institutes. In the state sector, there are 322 women industrial training institutes(ITI) and 515 general ITIs with women training wings with 47,391 seats for basic skill training, the release added.