Misplaced societal moralities and a dominant patriarchal influence continue to force urban women to make stereotypical choices on their education as well as career.
According to a gender report by TeamLease, the percentage of women being enrolled in higher education is greater than men at graduation level (arts/science/commerce and BEd), but it is significantly lower in streams like BTech, BE and PhD.
With lesser proportion of women enrolling into technical, vocational and managerial education compared with men, the likelihood of them pursuing a worthwhile career in these fields gets diminished. On the other hand, the report states, rural women are entering the labour force in far larger numbers than urban women do. There is thus a sharper drop in labour force participation rate (LFPR) for urban women. The LFPR of women in India is 25.5%, of which rural women constitute 30.02% and urban women, 15.44%.
Rituparna Chakraborty, Senior VP, TeamLease, said: "While we are transforming, our society continues to be highly patronizing around the choices women make in their careers. Right from their young age they are conditioned to believe that only specific jobs are suitable for them, to believe that they need not work after marriage or after having children, notwithstanding the overall unfavourable ecosystem which strengthens the stereotypes." The demand for equal opportunity stems from this reality. "While in absolute terms there are more women in urban areas getting jobs, it's still poor relative to the number of women who are seeking jobs vis-a-vis finding an employment," said Chakraborty.