Is Migration perpetuating Gender Disparities in India?
Perpetuation leading to the disparity is harm to humanity
When we consider migration, we should always think of gender too. The major reason behind migration is marriage or job opportunity or education. But when it comes to women who are willing to move out, a series of questions arrives unless and until she is getting married. Questions of living, income, work environment, or college vibes, are a source of major tension for Indian parents. But this story of every home has impacted the GDP of our country in many ways. The gender inequality in pay-scale, the percentage of women in the workforce, the unsafe environment have led to fewer foreign investments.
To answer the titled question let's analyze the situation in detail.
The share of women in the workforce is declining drastically. The migration situation is not that promising, with women making up approximately 70% of India’s internal migrants, nearly all of these women migrate for marriage, and the share between the ages of 15 and 64 who moved for jobs declined from just 1.3 percent to 0.8 percent between 1983 and 2008 despite dramatic GDP growth.
But when we consider our rivals in the market, countries like China and Bangladesh which are doing much better, around 58% of women in Bangladesh and 64% in China women are in the workforce in various sectors of industry, the contribution is much more progressive. If we see in India, only 27% of women are contributing to the workforce. But China and Bangladesh, the large number of urban jobs for women in manufacturing, clothing production, and other areas created new economic opportunities, which led to an increase in women’s role in the workforce and in-migration from rural areas to cities which might be an eye-opener for us.
To add salt to the situation, the COVID-19 lockdown made the situation worse for our country. Millions of migrants moved back to their native places and the employment generation is stunted in many states due to this movement. Lack of opportunity in markets in rural areas for women is becoming the key factor here to understand the situation of gender disparity in migrant workers. Climate change is giving hard time to farmers and so the women in the house are only reluctant to do household work in rural India. In urban areas where women migrants come to look for work are in very less number, mainly they are working in household work of house-helpers, care-takers.
The share of women in the secondary market in India is very less, not more than 20%. The tertiary sector gives us a ray of hope as it is a more service sector and 9 to 6 job but again the factor of education becomes a hurdle here.
The women who are willing to move out for work are many but to support them are very less.
India’s economy is reopening after the COVID shock and has a bright path ahead. Till 2050, the working-age population is expected to climb to over 800 million people. But women’s participation needs the most attention here. According to studies, increasing women’s labor force participation by only 10% can lead our GDP to an additional US$770 billion by 2025.
Many of the multidimensional problems Indian women have to deal with (violence, lack of autonomy, lack of assets, restricted mobility) are interlinked, but the very poor employment generation and the associated lack of productive income opportunities have become an underlying context that particularly affects young women who are online of embarking to be an employee.
So to answer, YES gender disparity has increased in India and one of the main reasons is Migration. And it is continuing to do so for a long time, and 2020 has given a major hit so the unemployment in women has increased more than men. This disparity is making huge changes in our society and may create different circumstances for a woman to live on her own.