States Should Let Women Work Night Shifts At Factories, Says Union Government

26/05/2016 3:00 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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Manager checking workers in factory

The Union government has written to states asking them to amend laws that will allow women to work night shifts at factories to help boost their participation in the workforce, according to a Mint report.

The labour secretary has written a letter to the states, pointing out socioeconomic realities and the opportunity for states to play a vital role and urged “necessary action” as the Centre’s draft labour bill is still delayed. Some states such as Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have already amended laws to work night shifts, the report pointed out.

India has had a bleak record of women in the workforce, according to data by Labour Bureau. India’s labour laws mandate that women can work between 6 am and 7 pm in certain sectors.

According to data by the International Labour Organization, between 2004 to 2011, India witnessed a dramatic decline in female participation in the workforce, falling from over 35 per cent to 25 per cent.

Traditional gender norms dominated the reason behind the fall despite an increase in education -- women in India still choose to not work, according to data analysed by The New York Times.

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