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Women’s participation in business still a dismal affair in India: Census

Women’s participation in business still a dismal affair in India: Census
No doubt, India has become one of the largest growing economies in the world, but the participation of women in economic activities is still a dismal affair in the country. According to a recently released sixth economic census, only 80.50 lakh out of 5.85 crore business firms are owned by women in the country. The participation of women entrepreneurs is just 13.76 per cent of the total business activities in both rural as well urban localities.

According to the census, the status of women entrepreneurs in the northern part of country is more worrisome in comparison to southern part as there are only 8 per cent women entrepreneurs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. While in case of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, one fourth of country’s business firms are owned by women.

“Out of 80.50 lakh women-owned firms, 13.76 per cent units are owned by fairer sex in Tamil Nadu, the state which is headed by Chief Minister Jayalaithaa. In Kerala, 11.35 per cent firms are owned by women, while Andhra Pradesh has 10.56 per cent women entrepreneurs, 10.33 per cent women in West Bengal have business units in their name and in Maharashtra only 8.25 per cent business activities are owned by women,” the report said.

The picture of women’s participation in business activities in Uttar Pradesh is very poor as it has only 4.82 lakh firms (5.99 per cent of country’s figure) which are owned by fairer sex. While Bihar, which is headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has only 1.53 lakh women-owned firms, which amount to just 1.91 per cent share of the country. The situation is also grim in other states such as Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Haryana and Punjab as these states have 0.39 per cent, 0.68 per cent, 1.55 per cent and 1.38 per cent women representation in business activities.

In West Bengal, which is ruled by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the situation is much better than other northern states as the state has country’s 10.33 per cent women entrepreneurs.

The census also finds that 65 per cent of firms owned by women are in rural areas while only 35 per cent are in urban locations. The report also states that about 83 per cent firms owned by women have not added any employee in the last five years which clearly shows that the units run by women are very small.
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