Bias behind Indian women finding fewer jobs, earning less: Oxfam report


A woman competing with a man for jobs in India’s villages is 100% likely to face discrimination because of her gender and stands only a 2% chance of finding work in cities, a new report from found.

Social pressure and employer prejudices contributed to a bias against hiring women, according to data published Wednesday. The discrimination also means women have salaries that are 67% lower than those earned by men.

Decades of efforts by the government to deter prenatal sex determination have helped improve a gender imbalance in India, where families traditionally prefer sons over daughters. But the latest numbers underscore challenges in providing equal opportunities: Between 2010 and 2020, the number of working women in India dropped from 26% to 19%, according to the World Bank.

The report, which bases its findings on the Indian government’s data from 2004 to 2020, also highlights caste and religious bias in the work force.

In villages, lower castes have faced an increase in discrimination, the report found. Income gaps among casual workers in cities was attributable to discrimination 79% of the time, the report said, with urban Muslims facing especially high unemployment rates.


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