Traditionally, an Indian woman had four fold status-role sequences. These were her role as a daughter, wife, housewife (homemaker), and mother.Today Indian women work in demanding settings with long work hours, tight deadlines and professional pressures in competitive environments.
The natural tendency for anyone dealing with a busy day would be to turn home to relax. But for women, parenting duties and household work make it difficult to find this space at home.
The woman in modern times is entering into certain new fields that were unknown to the woman’s sphere of role-sets. They are activating participating in social, economic, and political activities.
Besides the lack of time faced by women after care giving activities to pursue income generating skills and active careers, they also find themselves often subjected to a family imposed ideal of priority skill sets to work on which in turn shapes them to cater to the requirements of a chauvinistic marriage market rather than a job market.
Role of Women in the Freedom Movement :
For the period of freedom struggle in the motherland, women were not staying at the back. The role of women in the freedom struggle is extremely significant and they also participated in the Indian struggle for Independence. There is a large list of great women whose names have gone down in history for their dedication and undying devotion to the service of India’s freedom struggle.
Bhima Bai Holkar fought against the British Colonel Malcolm, and defeated him in guerrilla warfare.
The Rani of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi Bai whose heroism was an outstanding example for all. Begum Hazrat Mahal was a great Indian freedom fighter who played a major role during India’s First War of Independence. Arun Asaf Ali played an outstanding role in the Quit India Movement.
Annie Besant was the first Women President of the Congress and gave a powerful lead to women’s movements in India. Sarojani Naidu was elected as a president of Indian National Congress.
She campaigned for the Montague Chelmsford Reforms, the Khilafat issue, the draconian Rowlett Act and the Satyagraha. Kasturba Gandhi was a leader of women’s Satyagrah. Madam Cama unfolded the first National flag at International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart(Germany) in 1907. She declared “the Flag is of India”.
Factors affecting women’s work participation:
1)Education is one of the most important factors influencing female labour force participation. Human capital theories underline the importance of education in employment outcomes.
2)In the static labour supply model, the effect of education on female labour force participation is dependent on the relative strength of the substitution effect and the income effect. First, education increases the potential earnings and, therefore, the opportunity cost of not working also rises. Second, as a result of higher income, an individual prefers leisure to work and reduces his/her working hours. The net effect depends on which force prevails.
3) A number of studies have shown higher returns to education for women than for men. It is well established in literature that higher levels of human capital lead to higher wages, thereby increasing women’s participation in market work. However, the relationship between educational attainment and female labour force participation is by no means straightforward.
Women’s labour force participation in rural India is negatively influenced by the number of young children (below 5 years) in households. Recent analysis also reported the negative impact of the number of young children on women’s participation in both rural and urban India. In general, and especially in South Asia, it is believed that cultural and societal norms have a significant influence on women’s decision to participate in the labour market and choice of work and on their mobility.These norms operate at multiple levels of society, for example, religion, caste and region. It has been widely recognized that these norms discourage women to take up paid employment and that they confine women to the role of caregivers.Cultural factors limit women’s rights in the workplace and their engagement in work. Religion still has a key role to play in determining gender norms in many countries.
Women’s Organizations :
Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), meaning “service” in several Indian languages, is a trade union based in Ahmedabad, India that promotes the rights of low-income, independently-employed female workers. With over 2 million participating women, SEWA is the largest organization of informal workers in the world and largest non-profit in India . Self-employed women are defined as those who do not receive a salary like that of formally-employed workers and therefore have a more precarious income and life.
SEWA is framed around the goal of full employment in which a women secures for her family: income, food, health care, child care, and shelter. The principles behind accomplishing these goals are struggle and development, meaning negotiating with stakeholders and providing services, respectively.
Liberalizing the economy to foreign trade in 1991 caused a huge migration of rural inhabitants to Indian cities that then forced urban dwellers into informal occupations. Since the financial crisis of 2008, over 90% of India’s working population is in the informal sector(Shakuntala 2015); yet 94% of working women in 2009 worked in the informal sector. India’s history and modern culture of female subjugation also contributes to this disparity because traditional gender roles exclude women from regular, secure work.
Working women Hostel :
The objective of the scheme is to promote availability of safe and conveniently located accommodation for working women, with day care facility for their children, wherever possible, in urban, semi urban, or even rural areas where employment opportunity for women exist.
To achieve this objective, the scheme will assist projects for construction of new hostel buildings, expansion of existing hostel buildings and hostel buildings in rented premises.
The working women’s hostel projects being assisted under this scheme shall be made available to all working women without any distinction with respect to caste, religion, marital status etc., subject to norms prescribed under the scheme.
While the projects assisted under this scheme are meant for working women, women under training for job may also be accommodated in such hostels subject to the condition that taken together, such trainees should not occupy more than 30% of the total capacity the hostel and they may be accommodated in the hostels only when adequate numbers of working women are not available. Children of working women, up to the age of 18 years for girls and up to the age of 5 years for boys may be accommodated in such hostel with their mothers.