ILO/MOLE Technical Workshop on Women's Labour Force Participation in India and South Asia

ILO and Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, join hands to host a technical workshop on “Women’s labour force participation in India and South Asia: Have Women benefited from an Era of Globalization and Growth?” in New Delhi on 14-15 February 2013.

The ILO and Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, joined hands to host a technical workshop on “Women’s labour force participation in India and South Asia: Have Women benefited from an Era of Globalization and Growth?” in New Delhi on 14-15 February 2013.

The event brought together representatives of government departments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, policy planners, United Nations representatives, academia and other experts from India as well as SAARC countries. The participants discussed trends in female labour force participation, the situation of the work done by women, and various factors affecting women in the world of work in India and South Asia.

In his keynote address, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, emphasized on the quality dimensions of employment, which are difficult to quantify. Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister of Labour and Employment, stated that India is at a critical stage where women face challenges from different quarters, which need to be collectively addressed to ensure enhanced participation on women in the labour market with dignity and social justice. Moreover, the 12th Plan vision of inclusive economic growth can be fulfilled only when women are equal partners. The ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Yoshiteru Uramoto, stressed that gender equality is a top priority for the ILO.

Ms. Amarjeet Kaur, representing workers’ organizations, indicated that the trade unions have emphasized that the planning process has made economic growth a jobless one, while Mr. Ravi Wig, speaking on behalf of employers, pushed for renewed emphasis on skills development and supporting women to move out from low-pay and low-skills sectors.

As next steps, it was agreed by the GOI representatives that the recommendations from this workshop would be taken into consideration in planning future interventions. ILO will update the studies based on recommendations from the workshop. In addition, new research will be explored to address knowledge gaps, while further consultations will be organized with policy-makers to go deeper into a number of important issues, which have been raised.