Lacking on women’s empowerment
The conflict and the societal pressures have ensured a lesser working space for the fairer sex in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Though empowerment of women is a worldwide slogan and one of the Millennium Development Goals, Jammu and Kashmir has failed on this front.
Though lot is being said about empowering of women in different spheres of life statistics reveal that the state lags far behind on this front. Women’s empowerment in a general sense refers to empowering women to be self-dependent by providing them access to all the freedoms and opportunities, which they were denied in the past only because of their being women and in specific it refers to enhancing their position in the power structure of the society.
However, the ground reality is that women in Jammu and Kashmir constitute a meagre 19.11% of the state’s overall workforce.
A 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 main reason attributed to these poor figures is cited as the lack of employment opportunities, especially in the private sector, which is creating a hurdle for women’s empowerment.
Besides, the women’s representation is also dismal in the corporate sector and small businesses. Many other regions which have a better rate of women participation in workforce have female employees working in small business setups.
The state is doing quite miserably on the education front as well where the girl child is not being provided all the necessary support during her young days so as to have full access to education and other facilities. This phenomenon results in her lagging behind in competition and seeking a better participation for her during the later part of her life.
The state has also failed to provide a secure and welcoming atmosphere for the women work force in the private sector. The only jobs and facilities that are provided to the women work force are menial in nature which also discourages them to be part of the private sector.