Some measures which will be implemented immediately include sensitising informal sector workers on gender-based violence and informing them in simple language about the laws that cater to such violence. The Female Labour Force Participation rate, already low in India, received an extra setback with the pandemic.
Women were the primary ones to lose their jobs once the lockdown was announced, two years ago, and they are yet to induce into the labour force. the feminine labour force participation rate was at 9.4 per cent for the amount between September-December 2021, per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
This is often an all-time low female labour force participation rate since 2016 when the information was first compiled.
In understanding the rock bottom female labour force participation rate, there’s a requirement to think about a longstanding problem — the protection of girls in workplaces.
All women deserve a non-discriminatory and safe working space irrespective of the cultural or working sector barrier. But those within the informal and unorganised sector deserve particular attention. The pandemic aggravated things for ladies within the informal economy.
Statistics show that ladies are more likely to be engaged within the informal sector in both rural and concrete areas. they’re also more likely than men to be working as informal workers within the formal sector. However, not much has been tried in terms of understanding the violence faced by women within the informal sector which might range from harassment to regulatory offences and rape.
Such violence will be pledged with several aspects starting from a male-dominated workplace to harassment by labour contractors to a scarcity of basic amenities for ladies within the workplace. some studies also indicate that girls within the informal sector face molestation in workplaces.
Difficult working conditions are aggravated within the absence of proper redressal mechanisms and women’s access to them. It’s well-known that laws like the molestation of girls at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, Criminal Amendment Act 2013, and Protection of girls from force Act, 2005 aren’t implemented well and don’t take the difficulties faced by women within the informal sector into consideration.
A reasonable body for this purpose could be the Local Complaints Committee structure under the harassment of girls at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, But such bodies are almost non-functional.
The quest for inclusive growth within the post-pandemic should catalyse endeavours to form workplaces within the informal sector safe for ladies. Some measures which will be implemented immediately include sensitising informal sector workers on gender-based violence and informing them in simple language about the laws that handle such violence; employers must make sure that complaints committees are functional; sensitising local labour contractors on a way to pander to cases of harassment at workplaces.
These bare minimum measures may be implemented with technical support from local women’s rights organisations. the govt. should also step in to enhance the implementation of existing laws and increase budgetary provisions for workplace safety.