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Transforming Gender Norms: Women's Employment in India.



  Oct 20, 2023

Women's Employment and Gender Norms in India



What does recent research reveal about women's employment in India?

Answer: Recent research using data from National Family Health Survey (NHFS) 2019-20 shows that in urban India, 44% of single women between 24 to 29 years of age are employed. However, only 33% of married women without children and a mere 19% of married women with children in the same age group are employed.

How does women's education and age of marriage impact their employment in India?

Answer: Women's education levels and age of marriage play a significant role in their employment choices. Girls' education levels are rising in India, and delayed marriage allows women to pursue careers. However, parental decisions often influence a daughter's higher education, and marriage considerations may not always align with job opportunities.

What are the challenges faced by married women in India regarding employment?

Answer: Married women in India often face challenges related to cultural norms and societal expectations. There is still stigma associated with married women working, even when their husbands' earnings are sufficient to support the family. These norms can limit women's employment choices.

What is the "horizon" stage in women's employment history, and how does it apply to India?

Answer: The "horizon" stage refers to young women's expectations about their future involvement in paid work. In India, many young girls' decisions about education and employment are influenced by parental decisions, and they may not always have the autonomy to choose their path.

What is the "identity" stage in women's employment history, and how does it apply to India?

Answer: The "identity" stage is about women being able to find respectable jobs and eliminating the stigma around married women working. In India, there is still a need to change societal perceptions to allow married women to pursue careers without facing social stigma.

What are "greedy jobs," and how do they impact women's careers in India?

Answer: "Greedy jobs" involve long work hours and can be a deterrent for women to pursue careers, especially if they need to balance household responsibilities. Some women reduce their working hours due to the demands of such jobs.

What is the future direction of women's employment in India?

Answer: India has set ambitious goals to increase women's employment, but achieving these goals will depend on factors such as the availability of suitable jobs, changes in prevailing gender norms, and improved infrastructure to support women's participation in the workforce.

Women's employment in India is influenced by a complex interplay of cultural norms, societal expectations, and individual choices. Achieving gender equality in the workforce will require addressing these challenges at multiple levels.

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