Examine the role of ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. UPSC GS Paper 1 2021, 10 Marks

Q10. भारत में महिलाओं के सशक्तिकरण की प्रक्रिया में ‘गिग इकोनॉमी’ की भूमिका का परीक्षण कीजिए । (150 शब्दों में उत्तर दीजिए)

Q10. Examine the role of ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. (150 words) 10 Marks

The Gig economy has been a driving force in shaping the future of work. Its unique employment relationship that upends the traditional ways of working as it refutes for a conventional employer-employee relationship. That doesn’t  beholden the gig workers to any particular employer and often renders greater flexibility in terms of the work and the hours dedicated.

The Gig economy also provides an answer to the increasing unemployment in the country and around the world. The Ola, Uber,Amazon giants which provide an effective employment opportunity to the multitudes of the generation and the millenials. It thus is a free market system wherein independent workers are temporarily hired  for short-term engagements thus calling for a 56% of the generation of  new employment in India.

The reasons for rapid growth and expansion of the Gig Economy.

  • Flexibility in working style.
  • New generation emasculated by different working style and the attitude towards there career.
  • Suits not just the proletariat but the bourgeoisie too who are evaded of the responsibility to provide benefits like provident fund, paid leave and office space.

The role of the Gig Economy to provide for the women empowerment.

  • Gender bias occurs as our society is inherently more patriarchal wherein the male counterpart is more dominant vis a vis the female who tends to enjoy a subordinate position.
  • The women are considerably placed in a victimised position in the workplace in the precints of their households where they face the deliberate issue of discrimination.
  • The flexibility that the gig economy offers women help to come out of the shackles of the male domination.
  • The financial independence is often considered as the first step towards the women empowerment .
  • The labor of the women will be valued and paid worth for.
  • Rise and participation of the women in the job market would help in improving the indicators where women participation is considered the least.
  • Will occupy roles as the decision makers.


The negative aspect of the women in the Gig Economy .

  • The gig economy thrives largely unregulated workers that have little job security .
  • Extension of India’s informal labour, that has been prevalent for a long time and has remained unregulated.
  • A worker needs to be skilled enough as the workers bargaining power will necessarily be limited.
  • Demand-supply mismatch will only get worse over time.
  • Women due to lack of certain options are forced to perform the dual responsibility of work and home.
  • Dual exploitation faced as they are sandwiched between the familial and professional responsibilities where they have to forego their professional lives.


Way Forward

Increasing and effective sensitisation of men will help in dealing with the women related issues better.  Uplifment of women is a joint prerogative of both men and the women.

Women as a sole bread winner is yet to find a place in society as whatever she earns is always calls as an additional income.

The  government needs to step in to implement radical changes in labour laws or implement tax rebates and concessions that can be passed on directly to drivers or delivery partners as health or insurance benefits.

With a population of over 1.2 billion, and a majority of them below the age of 35, relying on the “gig economy” is perhaps a bastion to create employment opportunities for a large semi-skilled and unskilled workforce.

Thus the government needs to hand-hold this sector and help it grow further.

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