Women in Jammu and Kashmir constitute a meagre 19.11% of the state’s overall workforce, a recently published report revealed.
The report, “Women and Men in India- 2017” issued by ministry of statistics and programme implementation, contains analysis of demographic data collected from administrative sources, surveys, and census conducted by the central and the state governments.
As per the report, neighboring Himachal Pradesh at 44.82% has the highest workforce participation rate for females.
Among all states, Delhi has lowest at 10.58%. Bihar 19.07%, Kerala 18.23%, Haryana 17.79%, Uttar Pradesh 16.75% and Punjab 13.91%.
In terms of the contribution of women in overall workforce, J&K has performed poorly in urban areas with share of female population in workforce being only 14.4 per cent. Comparatively, women constitute 26.3 per cent of the overall workforce in rural areas of the state, the report has indicated.
Former secretary general of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and industrialist Gazalla Amin says lack of employment opportunities, especially in the private sector, “is a major hurdle for women’s empowerment.”
“We don’t have enough employment opportunities especially in the corporate sector and small businesses. Many other states who have a better rate of women participation in workforce have female employees working in small business setups,” Amin said.
“Women empowerment is directly connected to education. It is a matter of time when women will become important stakeholders in every segment of our state as women are coming forward in education and have been at the forefront in the agriculture and allied sectors. Women empowerment will start from education and will then translate into job creation,” Amin added.
Speaking with Greater Kashmir, state Labour Commissioner, Bashir Ahmad Khan said the labour department is taking steps to ensure there are enough employment benefits provided to women employees.
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“Even if the women are doing menial jobs in factories or companies, there needs to be proper wages and benefits for them,” he said.
Industrialists who have set-up companies with investments worth crores of rupees must ensure to promote women empowerment, he said.
Firms registered under shops and establishment act need to have internal complaints committees in place, Khan said.
Pertinently, as per the state’s Economic Survey Report of 2016, Jammu and Kashmir has the highest unemployment rate of 24.5 percent in the age group of 18 to 29 years, which is the highest throughout India.