Women in MGNREGS
#GS-02 Social Justice, #GS-03 Infrastructure
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched on 2nd February 2006 under the MGNREG Act.
- Its aim is to guarantee 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual
- It also aims to create durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.
- MGNREGS can help reduce migration from rural areas to urban areas, thereby reducing the population stress felt by major cities in India.
Provisions of MGNREGS:
- Unlike previous employment guarantee schemes, MGNREGS aims at tackling the root causes of poverty by creating a rights–based framework which will also help to improve public infrastructure.
- The statutory obligations of MGNREGS says that at least one-third of beneficiaries have to be women.
- The minimum wages specified for agricultural labourers in the state under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 must be paid to workers under MGNREGA.
- Employment must be provided to the applicant within 15 days of the application.
- Works conducted under MGNREGS must undergo social audit.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) is the implementing agency for MGNREGS.
- The Eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be a citizen of India.
- They must have completed 18 years of age at the time of application.
- The applicant must be part of a local household in a rural area.
Women in MGNREGS:
- Percentage of women workers participating in the MGNREGS has reached a 10-year high in the financial year 2022–23.
- As per the Union Rural Development Ministry, 57.8% of the total workers employed in MGNREGS this year were women.
- Bihar and UP showed the highest growth in women workers while the percentage of women workers dipped slightly in Kerala
Why more women choose to work in MGNREGS
- In Kerala and Tamil Nadu for the past five years women’s share in the MGNREGS workforce has been between 85% and 90%.
- This is seen as the result of two factors, market forces and welfare incentives for women MGNREGS workers.
- The difference between MGNREGS wages and market wages is high in Kerala, especially for male workers who often get much higher pay than women in the open market.
- This makes MGNREGS work much less attractive for men.
Welfare Incentives for Women:
- Kerala offers incentives for women workers under the MGNREGS, such as a dedicated welfare fund which provides insurance against any injury during work, and monetary assistance to women workers above the age of 60.
Source “Women break new ground in MGNREGS“