Friday, September 27, 2013

Bad News for South Asia’s Female Workers

The polling and market research firm found that 36% of men in South Asia worked for an employer full-time – at least 30 hours a week – compared with 10% of women. The gap between the genders was the largest globally and almost double the worldwide average variance between men and women, which stood at 16 percentage points in 2012, the poll found.

South Asia, along with the Middle East and North Africa, has the lowest overall proportion of women in the workforce. In these regions, 24% of the female adult population is in the workforce. In South Asia, 80% of men are in the workforce, in the Middle East and North Africa, just over two-thirds of the male adult population is in the workforce.

A report by the International Labor Organization in February found that women’s participation in the workforce is dropping in India. The report said India’s labor force participation rate for women fell from just over 37% in 2004-05 to 29% in 2009-10.

When assessed in that way, South Asia has one of the smallest differences between men and women in full-time work, the survey found. Of those in the workforce in South Asia, 45% of men were in full-time work against 42% of women. Only the Balkans and the Commonwealth of Independent States have smaller gaps.

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