In today's liberalised scenario, women form an indispensable
part of the Indian workforce. In such an environment, the quality of women’s
employment is very important and depends upon several factors. The foremost
being equal access to education and other opportunities for skill development.
This requires empowerment of women as well as creation of awareness among
them about their legal rights and duties. In order to ensure this, the
Government of India has taken several steps.
It has been implementing many programmes which aim at providing
access to education and vocational training to women. The most important
being, the 'Womens
Vocational Training Programme' launched under the Directorate
General of Employment & Training (DGE&T) in the Ministry
of Labour. The programme attempts to promote the women employment
in industry (mainly organised sector) as semi-skilled, skilled and highly
skilled workers by increasing their participation in skill training facilities.
Under this programme, a separate 'Womens Training Wing' has been
set up at DGE&T Headquarters, which is responsible for designing and
pursuing long term policies related to providing vocational training to
women in the country. Also, as part of the programme, in the Central Sector,
National and ten Regional Vocational Training Institutes have been
set up in different parts of the country. While, in the State Sector,
a network of exclusive 'Women
Industrial Training Institutes (WITIs)' have been set up under the
administrative control of the State Governments. These institutes provide
basic skill training to women.
Also, the Government has been making efforts for creating
a congenial work environment for women workers. For this purpose, a separate
'Cell for Women Labour' has been set up in the Ministry to focus attention
on the condition of working women and bring about an improvement therein.
The Cell has the following functions:-
- Formulation and coordination of policies and programmes
for the female labour force within the framework of national manpower
and economic policies.
- Maintaining liaison with other Government agencies to
secure effective implementation of the programmes in respect of women
- Monitoring the implementation of the Equal
- Setting up of an Advisory Committee under the Equal
Remuneration Act, 1976.
- Giving grants-in-aid to Non-Governmental Organisations/
Voluntary Organisations to formulate and execute action oriented projects
for women workers.
Moreover, a number of protective provisions have been
incorporated in the various laws enacted for equality and empowerment
of women, the proper enforcement of which will create an enabling environment
for women workers.