In these days of modern economic growth, a lot of conflict is going on about women going outside to attend the workplace for work. In developing countries like India, this was considered as a major drawback for the male provider as in such cases, it was considered that he is not earning enough to support his home. If a woman goes out to attend office in many urban and rural areas of India, she was considered to be a bad mother or a wife who does not care about the household or her husband.
But the situation started changing a lot about two decades back. Women started going out to the offices in large numbers. Women in India started becoming equally competitive along with men and they started joining offices. Though this was a social stigma even a few years back, many families have overcomed this and sending their daughters to college for higher education so that they can pursue their professional career.
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Though about one third of the housewives of India express their willingness to work, the actutal picture is not so bright because of the social taboo attached to it. This can be evident from the fact that number of women workforce in India dropped from 37% in 1990 to 28% in 2015. The government of India is also doing their level best to change the perception of women in the Indian workforce. In fact, 2019 has seen the highest number of women getting elected in the Indian parliament. The Government has also initiated the move of appointing a compulsory women director in every board of directors of a company where the annual turnover exceeds half a million.
It has been seen that joining of women in the labor force and giving them access or control of their wages encourages women to join the workforce and decrease the negative perception of women going outside the home and joining the workforce.
If a woman joins the workforce and gets a good income her share of benefits increases to a great extent and her opinion in the household also increases a lot. This change in circumstances is definitely encouraging more women to join the Indian workforce and the culture is changing quite fast. Since these females are spending a majority of the time in the office outside, they are expected to work less at home and have more leisure time. The basic aim of the Indian Government is to encourage more women to join the workforce and erase the wrong perception from the minds of the common people.
Just to change the perception, another initiative was taken. A separate bank account was opened in the name of the woman of the household and the Government directed that all the cash benefits will be credited into the women’s bank account. This resulted in massive hue and cry among the male folk, especially in states like Madhya Pradesh and some other states of North India. The society wanted that all the money needs to be credited in the bank account of the male member of the household. But the Government and different NGO’s working at the grassroot level are trying their level best to change the taboo of the society and they have been successful to a great extent.
The survey has shown clear results that more women are participating in the workforce and there is a great change in the attitude of the husbands in India nowadays. More women are joining the workforce and it has been seen women who were at the bottom level and felt more restrained and cornered have felt the need of joining the workforce. When compared between state and private participation, it has been seen that participation of women in the private sector is more than in the public sector.
With service sector playing a more dominant role in the private enterprises, the role of women fits well in those posts and hence their participation is overwhemlingly high there. In fact, the social taboo attached with the working women is not so much dominant there. In places where the salary or the wages is deposited directly into their bank account, they feel more satisfied and confident. In such cases, it has been found that they are more confident and willing to join the workforce and at the same time, get good support from the family since she is contributing something to the family at the end of the month.
The basic idea of taking the initiative is not to make these women ultra liberal, but to change the perception of the family and their husbands towards their working women and to finish off the social taboo against it.
Many husbands who are against this argue that the social cost of wife going out of the house and working is quite high. But in spite of that women working in large numbers can be seen going to office during the office hours. The social cost factor of the housewife was used as an excuse by the husbands to defer their wife to join the workforce.
The Government of India, on their part, is trying their level best by opening bank account of the girl child and transfer many schemes to their account so that more inclusion of women in the workforce takes place.