Women in MGNREGS

Women in MGNREGS

Women in MGNREGS

#GS-02 Social Justice, #GS-03 Infrastructure

For Prelims


  • 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 202223.
  • 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


For Mains

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.
Market forces:
  • 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