India celebrates election of 1st tribal woman as Prez but data says less than 3 in 10 graduate women find jobs

The only region that crosses the 70% mark is Ladakh with 72.9% graduate women having jobs in the year 2020-21

India celebrates election of 1st tribal woman as Prez but data says less than 3 in 10 graduate women find jobs
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NH Web Desk

According to the government’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2020-21, less than three women graduates out of every 10 find a job in India. On the contrary, seven out of 10 male graduates are employed.

The Business Standard quoted a 2018 study- 'Indian Paradox: Rising Education, Declining Women’s Employment'- as saying that if a family has sufficient income, women often drop out of the workforce and become a part of the “stay at home” culture. The study also alleged that there are not fewer jobs for women, but women are often intentionally excluded from certain workplaces.

The statistic for unemployed graduate women changes according to region- in Sikkim, 67.1% graduate women have jobs but in Uttar Pradesh, the number drops to a mere 14.5%. The number for Bihar is worse, standing at 7.4%. The only region that crosses the 70% mark is Ladakh with 72.9% graduate women having jobs in the year 2020-21.

Of course, the pandemic has worsened the situation, but factors other than that are at play as well. Dr Amit Basole, who is an Associate Professor of Economics at Azim Premji University, recently said during a webinar on unemployment, “Employment opportunities are limited for women because of several patriarchal and societal norms - dropping out of the workforce after marriage, women requiring a workplace closer to home, flexible hours, permission to work, public safety, transportation, etc. When all these parameters come in, the options narrow down more.”


Surprisingly, Business Standard reported that the “non-literate population has higher employment than graduates” in India. In the year 2020-21, while the percentage of non-literate employed people was 53.6%, the percentage of literate employed people stood at 51.8%. It also quoted a World Bank report as saying that only 18.4% of India’s female population finds employment in the country, which is even lesser than Bangladesh’s 32.1%.

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