The decline in female work force participation rate may be attributed to factors like increased educational attendance and higher level of participation in education and insufficient formal wage employment opportunities etc. Government has been targeting this issue by taking up several initiatives to improve the employability of youth including women. A new Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been established to coordinate the skill development schemes across various sectors. Government has also implemented the National Career Service (NCS) Project which comprises a digital portal that provides a nation-wide online platform for jobseekers and employers for job matching in a dynamic, efficient and responsive manner and has a repository of career content.
Central Government has targeted the issue by taking various prominent steps to increase female labour participation rate which includes the enactment of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 which provides for enhancement in paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and provisions for mandatory crèche facility in the establishments having 50 or more employees; issue of an advisory to the States under the Factories Act, 1948 for permitting women workers in the night shifts with adequate safety measures. Further, in order to enhance the employability of female workers, the Government is providing training to them through a network of Women Industrial Training institutes, National Vocational Training Institutes and Regional Vocational Training Institutes. A number of protective provisions have been incorporated in various labour laws for creating congenial work environment for women workers.
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers for same work or work of similar nature without any discrimination. Further, under the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the wages fixed by the appropriate Government are equally applicable to both male and female workers and the Act does not discriminate on the basis of gender.
This information was given by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.