India making efforts to reduce gender gaps in labour force participation, says Santosh Gangwar

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Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar
Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): India is making collective efforts to reduce gender gaps in labour force participation, said Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar at a ministerial address on Declaration and Employment Working Group Priorities at G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting on Wednesday.

Gangwar stated that the country is ensuring education, training, skilling, entrepreneurship development and equal pay for equal work.

As per an official release by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the minister further said, the new Code on Wages, 2019 shall reduce gender-based discrimination in wages, recruitment and conditions of employment. "Women are entitled for all types of work in all establishments. Employers have to ensure their safety and provisions for working hours. Women can now work even during night hours," he said.

Talking about paid maternity leave, he said, the duration of paid maternity leave has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. "Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana provides financial support to women entrepreneurs to start small enterprises. Collateral free loans worth Rupees 9 thousand billion have been disbursed under this scheme. There have been around 70 per cent accounts of women in this Scheme," he noted.

The Minister added that the new Code on Social Security may now include even self-employed and all other classes of work force into the folds of social security coverage.

In 2014, G20 Leaders pledged in Brisbane to reduce the gap in labour force participation rates between men and women by 25 per cent by 2025, with an aim of bringing 100 million women into the labour market, increasing global and inclusive growth, and reducing poverty and inequality.

The release stated that the process of reducing gender inequalities has slowed down due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. The measures implemented by G20 countries helped to mitigate the employment and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, evidence from many countries shows a disproportionate impact on women.

Acknowledging the risk of increasing gender inequalities in labour markets and societies, G20 Leaders at the Riyadh Summit called for a roadmap to achieve the Brisbane goal along with improving the quality of women's employment.

The G20 Roadmap Towards and Beyond the Brisbane Target has been developed for achieving equal opportunities and outcomes for women and men in our labour markets as well as societies in general. This Roadmap builds upon the G20 Policy Priorities for Boosting Female Participation, Quality of Employment and Gender Equity (Australia, 2014) and the G20 Policy Recommendations to Reduce Gender Gaps in Labour Force Participation and Pay by Improving Women's Job Quality (Germany, 2017). (ANI)

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