Due to the lack of jobs available for the workforce in our country, there has been a greater problem that’s been created – innumerable people have stopped looking for jobs. According to Bloomberg, millions of Indians, particularly women, are exiting the labour force. Between 20017 to 2022, 21 million women “disappeared” from the workforce.
900 million Indians are of legal working age. More than half of that number “don’t want a job”. Responding to this study, a Twitter user who has more than a million followers tweeted that the reason behind women leaving the workforce is because “as family income grows, women choose to care for the family as there is no compulsion to work.”
A lot is being made of the 20 million women disappearing from the Indian workforce in the last 5 years. The fact is women in workforce has been steadily decreasing in India.
Reason: As family income grows women choose to care for family as there is no compulsion to work.
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) April 26, 2022
19.6 million dropped out between 2005-2012. Women quit low skilled labour jobs and focus on education/family care.
Source: A world bank research paper: https://t.co/CQCvsSP1xX
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) April 26, 2022
This statement completely overlooks the fact that innumerable women are pressurised by their families and spouses to leave their jobs. They are told to look after their families as it is their “primary responsibility”. There’s also this other problem of gender pay disparity. Since women, generally, have lower incomes than men, their jobs aren’t given as much importance. Instead, it is regarded as something disposable.
Might as well look after the family than work at a job that doesn’t even pay that much – such discussions take place in many Indian households. Women are discouraged to pursue a career in the first place, hence, to say that women “choose” to leave their jobs is a rather debatable statement to make.
Here’s what many people online said:
Women are choosing to be homemakers because their spouses don’t! It is lack of support system ( reliable childcare, equal sharing of household responsibilities with spouse, workplace support) that makes women quit workforce and not the luxuries of sitting at home.
— Aashi (@new_analyst) April 27, 2022
Women don’t really choose to stay at home… They are reminded again and again that their low paying job is of no use for family, but their full time presence at home is… So even if she loves her job, the ROI doesn’t allow it.
— Sārthak Sengar (@SengarSarthak) April 27, 2022
the idea that you think there is a 'choice' involved for women when it comes to housework shows your skewed interpretation of data.
There isn't a choice, you're talking about upper middle class families which is what 'allows' women to take up education, over work. https://t.co/wF8QUbQzZw
— dakshta (@teriyakibeat) April 27, 2022
Women don't "choose". The family chooses, and the women comply.
At every income bracket, women are largely aware that having their own source of income (no matter how small) is power. https://t.co/MwZxNXidyb
— arati (@Arati1411) April 27, 2022
What is this nonsense tweet. higher income means more opportunities for men because a) sons always get the benefit of better education first b) safety from other men becomes excuse to keep women at home c) women get the shittier jobs because men are chosen first for the gd ones https://t.co/1Ci0LToUTw
— Lakshmi Chaudhry (@ElChaudhry) April 27, 2022
FFS, men I beg you to not speak FOR women.
Most women don’t “choose” to give up their careers and concentrate on family. Most women are pressured/coerced into it.
Also, what country you living in? Raising kids is SOO expensive these days. Most times, one income CANNOT cover it https://t.co/7oBnu3sP1X
— Ria (@RiaRaichaudhuri) April 27, 2022
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Of course, of course. All we women want to do is "care" for family because why would we ever want to do a job and earn our money? Because what else are our dreams made of if not cleaning, cooking, "caring", with some financial dependence! *sigh* #SpareMeYourTrashyOpinionsPlease https://t.co/tRrowstqjR
— Akshi (@akshichawla) April 27, 2022
I am hoping this is a joke. The underlying assumption here is that women have a choice to work or not. Choice is not accessible to majority of the women in India in making this decision, therein lies the issue with the drop women’s labor force participation. https://t.co/3gW5Y9xaOw
— Ntasha Bhardwaj (@ntashabhardwaj) April 27, 2022
Very convenient for men like him to say that women get to 'choose'.Instead they are made to choose since in most cases a woman who works even full time has to multi task for the entire day leading to burnout because her husband won't move an inch to help her in household chores. https://t.co/m7BEsQWFob
— Shivangi (@shivangiJ11) April 27, 2022
This assumes that women don’t want professions or are much less likely to want professions for themselves. like become a scientist because you like science. And continue to be a scientist because you like science.And professions r only fr money. And men with money don’t work. https://t.co/afX60UO9Eb
— MRUNMAYEE (@MMALABIKA) April 27, 2022
'women choose' 🙄
Why aren't men also CHOOSING to leave work and take care of the family?
Pay parity, sexist workplaces, sexist men in sexist homes telling women 'i am earning enough. You can quit and take care of the house' https://t.co/nD69hzbFOP
— Aishwarya R (@MrsMcGeeky) April 27, 2022
Such ignorance of the problems posed by patriarchy at all levels- social, systemic, individual
from disproportionate caregiving burden on women
to unsafe, sexist work and public spaces
unequal access to resources
unfair pay practices etc https://t.co/VcxnyzSWnx
— Meghana Srinivas (@Meg_Srinivas) April 26, 2022
According to a report by TOI, “poor employer sentiment towards flexible working and career breaks” is what is holding women back from joining the workforce. This comes at a time when work flexibility is being stressed on across the globe to maintain proper work-life balance and one’s mental health.
Research has shown that 72% of working women are rejecting job roles that don’t allow them to work flexibly. On the other hand, 70% have already quit or are considering quitting jobs because they were not offered the right flexible policies.
What are your views on this study?