India’s demographic dividend is unique, as the growth rate of the working population exceeds that of the total population.
Demographic dividend is expected to continue till 2040s.
productive employment plays a key role in transmitting the benefits of economic growth into poverty reduction. Underlining one of the concerns in the employment market – namely, low level and declining female labour force participation, strategies need to be evolved to address this issue.
The important initiatives recently taken by the Government for promoting gender equality and empowerment of women:
“Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”,
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and
the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG.
The Right to Education Act,
The Minimum Wages Act,
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 that provides equal remuneration to men and women for equal work.
The recently enacted ‘Model Shop and Establishment Act’ allows night work by women, conditional to adequate safety and other working arrangement provisions”.
Underlining the importance of Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill, 2016, passed by Parliament, the Minister said that the Bill increases the paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. “It also provides, for the first time, a 12 weeks paid maternity leave to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’”.
The implementation of SDGs is a much more dynamic exercise and will require a constant exchange between government’s policy-makers, statisticians and civil society.
There is a need to constantly evaluate the progress being made – both in terms of policy and availability of relevant data.