Women own a little over one-third of deposit accounts but only one fifth of the total deposit amount in scheduled commercial banks, a report by the Statistics Ministry showed. It also revealed that only one of four bank employees are women.

The report noted that not even one-fourth of the female population holds managerial position across the organisations. Also, their share in unpaid work is much higher than their male counterparts.

The report titled, ‘Women and Men in India 2022’ showed that the total number of deposit accounts at the end of January 2023 was 225.5 crore, out of which over 79 crore are owned by women.

This comes to around 35.23 per cent. Similarly, all the mentioned accounts have over ₹170-lakh crore of deposits, out of which women own around ₹34-lakh crore.

Disparity in wages

Though the report has not given reasons for the low share of women in total accounts, an explanation can be found in shares related with three data sources — regular salary, unpaid work and managerial positions.

Quoting the periodic labour force survey (PLFS) for the period July 2021 to June 2022, the report mentioned that though the overall 21.5 per cent of workers are getting regular wage or salary, for women, it is 16.5 per cent.

Significantly, regular wage workers may not see a difference in pay out, but in terms of casual workers and others, there is disparity in wages between male and female.

The report also noted that women make enormous contributions to the economy by way of doing businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs, as employees or by doing unpaid care work at home. But they remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation.

“Gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and only a minority is able to secure senior positions. The lower job position of women curtails access to economic assets such as loans etc. All the other social barriers limit women in activities related to the shaping of economic and social policies. Moreover, women perform the bulk of household work, they often have little time left to pursue economic opportunities,” the report said.

Further, it said a large proportion of women in the working age group have to engage themselves in unpaid services for household members spending more than six hours in a day. This, in a way, limits their access to paid work.

Time use

Survey showed that in a day, the female population spent 305 minutes in unpaid activities, 56 minutes in paid activities and 1,079 minutes in residual other activities.

As per the PFLS data, among the officials working at managerial positions in India in 2020, 18.8 per cent were women which dropped to 18.1 per cent in 2021.

Giving the latest data (as on January 2023), the report noted that out of total workforce in all scheduled commercial banks, around 23 per cent officers, 30 per cent clerks and around 16 per cent sub-ordinates are female.