World Bank comes up with a mixed report on Women in India

RSTV Bureau

women-empowerment2Women in India continue to suffer from skewed representation in jobs, both in organised and the un-organised sector, the latest World Bank report has claimed. The report ‘Women, Business and the Law 2016’ has also claimed that there are no laws to protect women against sexual harassment in public places. At the same time, the report also lauded the Indian legislation ensuring women to be appointed at the higher echelons of the boardrooms.

Listing the widespread discrimination in South Asia’s largest economy, the World Bank report also revealed that women in India are not allowed to work in mining or in jobs that require lifting weights above a certain threshold or working with glass.

“In India, the region’s largest economy with 612 million women, job restrictions remain widespread, with women not allowed to work in mining or in jobs that require lifting weights above a certain threshold or working with glass,” the World Bank report released on Thursday said.

Detailing the Indian laws which prohibits women from jobs “involving danger to life, health or morals”, the World Bank admired steps taken by India in the last two years, which undertook one reform in the areas covered by the report.

The global agency especially appreciated the law that assures at least one female member on the board of publicly-listed companies. The law has, therefore, resulted in India becoming the only developing country and one of only nine in the world to mandate female inclusion on corporate boards.

Women-MP“One thing that India has done in the past few years which we found very heartening is India is the first developing economy that has a quota for women on corporate boards for publicly-listed companies,” Sarah Iqbal, the report’s lead author said while releasing the report.

“The quota in India is at least one woman has to be a member of the corporate board. Every other economy that we see is actually a developed economy. So, India is the first developing economy to do this,” Ms Iqbal added.

Acknowledging the steps taken by the Indian Industry to create jobs for the women, World Bank Vice President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said that when it comes to issue of women’s jobs, there is quite a bit of anomaly in India.

“In India you will find this anomaly that, right at the top, at the level of ministers, politicians, you have very, very prominent women. But at the level of jobs and job discrimination, there is quite a bit of that,” Basu said.

(With inputs from the PTI/Agencies)