Forty-nine-year old Seema Gupta of Manimajra is a bachelor of science and bachelor of education (BScBEd). But despite having a professional degree, she is a homemaker. “I never wished to do a job. It’s just that my parents wanted me to have a professional degree. I always wanted to become a good homemaker,” she says.
Like Seema, the city has many qualified women who are homemakers. It’s not that they don’t want a professional career, but are unable to pursue the same due to various reasons.
Woman homemakers are the most qualified in Chandigarh, closely followed by Delhi among all states and union territories in the country. As per the 2011 Census, woman homemakers don’t chip in to increase the family income, so they are termed non-workers along with students, pensioners, beggars and vagrants.
The 2011 Census data on educational qualification of non-workers released recently reveals that 1.81 lakh women in the city are doing household work and out of them over 17% are either graduates or above, which is highest in the country. Besides, 2% woman homemakers in the city have technical degree or diploma equivalent to degree or a postgraduate degree.
In Chandigarh, 74.1% woman homemakers are literate and 26.4% have not cleared Class 10 or Class 12. Besides, 26.2% are matriculate or have cleared Class 12, but are not graduates.
In Delhi, 75.3% woman homemakers are literate of them 17% are graduates and above. Around 1.1% have technical degree or diploma equivalent to a degree or a postgraduate degree, 27.6% are literate but are below matric/secondarylevel and 25.3% are qualified up to matric/secondary but are not graduates.
“Chandigarh and Delhi have the high number of graduates so it reflects in the qualifications of woman homemakers too. The data shows lack of employment opportunities. Once a woman leaves her job to have children, it is difficult to go back to work again, even as women want to work and have independent income,” says professor Aswini Kumar Nanda, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID).
Uttarakhand comes at third spot with 11.8 % women either educated up to graduation or above but doing just household work. Here, 12.9 lakh women are into household work.
Maharashtra has 8.6% woman as homemakers who are graduates or above and Puducherry has 8.5% women in this category.
Lakshadweep with just 0.5% graduates or above woman homemakers and Mizoram and Bihar with 2.1% each are at bottom of the list.
The country has 15.98 crore women doing only household work and of them 5.8% are either graduates or above. Around 62.7% are literate, 34% are below matric/secondary, 17.8% below graduate, 0.2% have technical diploma and 0.5% have technical degree or diploma equal to a degree or a postgraduate degree.