A new World Bank report titled, Women, Business and the Law 2016, has stated that women in India face widespread restrictions for jobs. In India women are not allowed to work in mining or in jobs that require lifting weights above a certain threshold or working with glass. The law also prohibits women from jobs “involving danger to life, health or morals”.
Also, there are no laws to protect women against sexual harassment in public places, protections which exist in 18 other economies.
The report also mentioned that in the last two years, India undertook one reform in the areas covered by the report. India became the only developing country and one of only nine in the world to mandate female inclusion on corporate boards
“I would say, on the question of where some of the job restrictions are coming from in India, actually, one of the main sources that we see is legacy legislation. And by that, I mean something like the Factories Act, which actually came from the British,” said Sarah Iqbal, the report’s lead author.
She added, “You see the same act in India, you see it in Pakistan, you see it in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and it basically restricts the type of work that women can do. And what’s even more interesting is Jamaica has almost the same act, the Factories Act, which they just reformed in the last two years, and they removed the restrictions on women’s work in certain jobs and factories.”