Does Gender Status Translate into Economic Participation of Women? Certain Evidence from Kerala
Many indicators of gender inclusiveness show that Kerala has been much ahead of other states in ensuring the welfare of females. It needs to be reiterated that in both education and health, women in Kerala stand quietly at the receiving ends as the beneficiaries rather than the agents of economic and social change. The women’s inclusive way of progress does not necessarily confine itself to the widening of education and health opportunities for women. Still, it largely and more positively depends on the effective participation of women in economic activities. It is disheartening that if we probe into the status of women from these yardsticks of ‘active’ economic participation, the picture of gender equality appears more discouraging in Kerala, which has been acclaimed as a ‘model’ for not only other states in the country but also for other countries in the world. A secular decline in the Work Participation Rate for women in the labor market clearly shows that education does not aid women to add themselves to the labor market. Economists and sociologists offer many plausible explanations for this absconding nature of educated and skilled women from the labor market. The real gender inclusion and women empowerment will be fulfilled only when women start actively engaging in productive fields using their knowledge and entitlements.
Copyright (c) 2020 B Pradeep Kumar
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