On January 30, 2024, the Ministry of Women & Child Development and the Ministry of Labour & Employment organized an event titled “सक्षम नारी सशक्त भारत – Women in the Workforce for Viksit Bharat” at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi. The event aimed to carve a path for women-led development through a comprehensive governmental approach.
Noteworthy attendees included officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of Education, and leading industry bodies such as CII, FICCI, and UN organizations like UNICEF, UN Women, and ILO.
Purpose and Reason for Advisory
At its core, the event aimed to promote gender equality and bolster women’s workforce participation. It heralded the release of an advisory by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, urging employers to champion gender equality and foster an environment conducive to women’s empowerment. Additionally, advisories from other ministries targeted sectors like building, construction, and highways to ensure women’s safety and participation in these domains.
Details of the Advisory
The advisory released during the event mandates various provisions, including:
- Providing 26 weeks of paid maternity leave for registered road construction workers.
- Extending paid maternity leave to mothers experiencing miscarriages.
- Ensuring online transfer of wages for women construction workers to prevent exploitation.
- Encouraging employers to implement policies promoting women’s workforce entry and participation.
- Facilitating safe environments during night shifts and providing transport services for female workers.
- Reviewing procurement practices to support women-run enterprises and addressing gender pay gaps.
- Establishing working women hostels in central universities with government support.
Promotion of gender-inclusive work environment by Industry Leaders
The event also provided a significant platform for industry leaders such as Hindustan Unilever, Aditya Birla Capital, Pernod Ricard, Randstad, Saint Gobain, and Tata Chemicals to showcase their commendable practices in promoting gender-inclusive work environments. These companies exhibited their dedication to gender equality and employer support, highlighting their pledge to cultivate an inclusive workplace atmosphere. Throughout the event, participants exchanged valuable insights, shedding light on a range of support services spanning from pre-maternity to post-maternity stages. Notable initiatives included the introduction of extended maternity leave policies, tailored flexible work schedules for new mothers, the establishment of onsite childcare facilities, and the inclusion of therapy services in insurance coverage.
– By Adv. Deeksha Rai