4 min read.Updated: 08 Mar 2022, 01:19 AM ISTAjit Ranade
Post-agrarian countries often see a U-shaped pattern but our ratio of working women has just been falling
When you land at Mumbai’s airport, you can book a prepaid taxi service. You’ll find a separate counter if you want a woman driver. It is meant for women passengers who prefer to have a female driver for that extra assurance of safety. Presumably, if an equivalent option were available to men, it would have gone unnoticed. What took so long for women-driven airport cabs to be introduced? For that matter, why are women-driven taxis not more common in other metro cities, and not just at airports? What about bus conductors? Of course, women in the workforce are increasingly more visible, and not just as casual labour or farm workers. In some places, the presence of women is remarkable. For instance, female participation in projects under the national rural employment guarantee scheme (not exactly a badge of honour but still) is about 50%. India also boasts of the highest share of female airline pilots at 15% while the world average is barely 5%. Not too long ago, half of India’s banking assets were under institutions headed by women (and so was one of our stock exchanges). India had a female head of state decades before most other countries. And not to forget women finance and defence ministers, important glass ceilings that were breached.
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