RAIPUR: During the COVID-19 pandemic in Chhattisgarh, the gender gap on labour participation in the anti-poverty scheme of MGNREGA reduced with 50 per cent of work being offered to women.
The women in the state made up for 50.75 per cent of the workforce during the first four months of the current financial year of 2020-21. According to the official record, over 24.28 lakh women secured the jobs as safety nets during the different phases of lockdown.
“Owing to the overall slowdown in the economic activities across the nation besides challenges owing to Covid-19 pandemic, the MGNREGA programme provided a very solid support system for the rural households collectively even through their womenfolk. After the monsoon season ends and agriculture activities gets over, the opportunities under the public wage scheme will again be available to them. We believe the participation of women will further rise in Chhattisgarh," affirmed Gaurav Dwivedi, principal secretary (panchayat and rural development).
Till now Chhattisgarh has achieved over 70 per cent of the target under sanctioned labour budget of MGNREGA, he stated.
"There is no gender parity issues on labour participation in Chhattisgarh and the state witnesses high women participation," the officer added.
Chhattisgarh has generated Rs 9.17 crore paid employment out of which the women secured Rs 4.65 crore. The MGNREGA Act stipulates that one-third of the beneficiaries are to be female workers over receiving 100 days of employment annually.
Interestingly during the last four years, the intensity of women participation remained high (See Table) in the state and it apparently led to preventing of the migration of women and their families in search of work or livelihood.
Durg district with 64 per cent took the lead in the state on providing maximum employment to women followed by Balod (62), Rajnandgaon (59), Raipur (54), Bastar (52) while the districts of Bilaspur, Dhamtari, Kondagaon and Narayanpur offered 51 per cent each.
Table: Women participation in MNREGA
Women Labour Force