Published: April 30,2018 | TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Ahmedabad: A study by a professor of MICA titled “Job sharing as a tool for flexible work systems: Creating opportunities for housewives in the Indian labor market” says that women’s contribution as professionals in India is hampered by various social factors. The study says that job-sharing may offer a way to change the circumstances.
The study — conducted by Dr Anjali Bansal, an associate professor at MICA — says that many women cannot join fulltime workforce because they have family responsibilities; however, the women are willing to put in half day’s work. “Fifty-four percent of the 266 housewives surveyed preferred the part-time work design so that the transition from a housewife to a working woman is a smooth one and does not disturb the family,” the study says. “Forty-two percent preferred the job-sharing option as they felt that they could not venture out to seek a career because of their family responsibilities.”
Job-sharing is an employment arrangement where, typically, two persons are retained to perform a task that is normally undertaken by one person. The employees who are sharing a job are equally responsible for it. The key to job-sharing is having two or more people operate as a team to achieve a set of common goals or responsibilities for work which is essentially indivisible. The practise is evident in the BPO industry and hospitals, among other sectors. Job-sharing allows women to stay at home and take care of children, in-laws, and husbands.
“Most (84%) of the housewives reported that they could not take up work because they were not allowed to do so by their extended families,” the study says. “The case was the worst with housewives who lose their husbands and are forced to play the dual role of taking care of their families and being the breadwinner. In most cases, they are solely dependent on their in-laws or on their maternal relatives. In some cases, they are forced to take up jobs with very little pay and no work satisfaction.”
The study says that it would be relevant to investigate if there is a causal link between the job-sharing practice and the uplift of women, not only at the economic but also at the societal level. Also, this would further help in understanding its link with the overall economic development of the nation.