Gender Gap in Skill Development: An Analytical Review

Gender Gap in Skill Development: An Analytical Review

Anjuli Chandra (The Gandhigram Rural Institute (Deemed), India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8443-8.ch001

Abstract

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is one of the 17 goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unfortunately, gender inequality practices still occur in nearly all fields of development; one of which is the skill development. The India Skills Report 2017 highlighted the gap between men and women in gaining employment across all sectors. This chapter analyzes gender gap in skill development, identifies challenges of gender stereotyped labor market, assesses government programs for skill development, and suggests remedial measures to fill the gender gap in skill development. The chapter uses secondary sources like India Skill Report, Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum, and UNDP reports related to skill development focusing on gender gaps. The chapter gives a clear understanding of gender gap, skill development, and the challenges faced by women in a gender stereotyped labor market. The chapter ends by suggesting measures to fill these gaps.
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Introduction

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is one of the seventeen goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender equality is a fundamental human right and necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Unfortunately, gender inequality practices still occur in nearly all fields of development; one of which is the skill development (Nurhaeni, and Kurniawan, 2018).

In India, women form an integral and substantial part of the workforce; but the working percentage rate of women in total labor force is declining. The share of women workforce (between 25-54 years of age) is about 30% in 2010 as against 39% in 2000, which is quite below as compared to 82% in China and 72% in Brazil. All it depict the under-representation of women in the workforce and results in the wastage of the demographic dividend to India. Moreover, women in India are mainly concentrated in the informal sector and are engaged in low paid jobs with no security benefits. This represents lack of employment opportunities and skills for women workforce. Currently, a majority of the female workforce in India is unskilled, i.e. a very low percentage of women have any kind of formal education. In India, around 65% of women in rural areas and over 30% of women in urban areas lacked basic primary school education (Verma, 2016).

The gender gap, on the other hand, is the difference between women and men as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes. The Global Gender Gap Index aims to measure this gap in four key areas: health, education, economics and politics. On average, the 144 countries in the report have nearly closed the gap in health outcomes and educational attainment. But the gap is still wide open in political and economic participation. Countries need to pay attention to the gender gap not only because such inequality is inherently unfair. But also because numerous studies suggest greater gender equality leads to better economic performance (The Global Gender Gap Report, 2017).

Further, the 2015 McKinsey Global Institute report called ‘The Power of Parity’ highlighted a strong link between gender parity in society and gender equality at work. Gender disparity at work is a universal phenomenon. But the degree of disparity varies from region to region. According to this report, women are half the world’s working-age population, but generate only 37% of the GDP. Indian scenario is quite dismal, as the share of regional output generated by women is only 17%. In the light of the above, the present research paper proposes to understand the gender gap in skill development at global as well as at national level with the following objectives:

  • 1.

    To analyze gender gap in skill development

  • 2.

    To identify challenges of gender stereotyped labour market

  • 3.

    To assess government programs for skill development

  • 4.

    To suggest remedial measures to fill the gender gap in skill development

The paper uses secondary sources like India Skill Report, Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum and UNDP reports related to skill development etc focusing on gender gaps. These reports have been critically reviewed and analyzed for drawing the conclusion and giving suggestive measures. The present research chapter had given a clear understanding of gender gap, skill development, and progressed with the challenges faced by women in a gender stereotyped labour market. The author has given a comprehensive picture of skill gap in India and explores the reason for it. The paper ends with suggestive measures to fill these gaps.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Skill Development: An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).

Labor Market: The supply of people in a particular country or area who are able and willing to work, especially in relation to the number of jobs that are available.

Gender Stereotype: Preconceived ideas whereby females and males are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles determined and limited by their gender.

Gender Gap: The difference that exists between the achievement or the way men and women are treated in the society.

Gender Equality: The state where both men and women have equal access to rights or opportunities.

Workplace: A building or room where people perform their jobs.

Gender Parity: It is a relative equality in terms of numbers and proportions of women and men, girls and boys, and is often calculated as the ratio of female-to male values for a given indicator.

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