Female participation in workforce rises in September, shows EPFO data

The September data also showed that as many as 38 percent of the new female subscribers of the EPFO belonged to the 35+ age bracket, unlike the 22-25 age category as seen in the previous months

December 07, 2020 / 05:18 PM IST
The number of women subscribers for the month of September stood at 2,72,395 out of the total of 10,47,167

The number of women subscribers for the month of September stood at 2,72,395 out of the total of 10,47,167









The share of women in workforce increased to 26 percent in September, as against 20 percent in August, showed the latest payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) for the month of September.


The September data also showed that as many as 38 percent of the new female subscribers of the EPFO belonged to the 35+ age bracket, unlike the 22-25 age category as seen in the previous months.


The number of women subscribers for the month of September stood at 2,72,395 out of the total of 10,47,167. The number of male subscribers for EPF was 7,74,751.


Prashant Singh, Vice President and Business Head- Compliance and Payroll Outsourcing, TeamLease Services, attributed the increase in female participation in workforce to MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) as it is a major government initiative that provides a platform to women for employment opportunities. Furthermore it also provides 100 days of guaranteed wage employment and reserves a minimum 33 percent reservation for women participation.


In urban areas, the export-oriented formal sectors like jewellery, civil aviation, automotive, textile, and garment manufacturing, along with construction, IT, and retail sectors, may have accounted for 40-50 percent rise in the number of female subscribers, he added.


"Sectors where women participation has seen growth are healthcare, online education, and packaging. Participation through formal employment has raised the PF enrolment, thus some shift in jobs could have also added to the growth," Suchita Dutta, Executive Director, Indian Staffing Federation, said.


In order to sustain female participation, Singh said, the government can encourage employers with various incentives and subsidies like employer contribution of ESI/PF, provide reduced rate of tax to employers employing women in higher number along with transportation and housing benefits to single women.


"Increased women participation comes with an acceptance in the environment and encouraging policies that are women as well as employer-friendly. The well-intended policies if they come without increasing financial burden on employers would help," said Dutta.


"Indian women participation rate will increase where employment allows flexibility, proximity to workplace, facility to balance work-life. The encouragement of employers, where there were conscious drives like gender diversity programmes, has helped in the past to break barriers. There are many informal sectors, where women employment ratio is very high but they lack protection, one of them being domestic workers. Women in these sectors should be brought under the formal workforce," added Dutta.






Shreeja Singh
first published: Dec 7, 2020 05:18 pm

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