In an effort to combat a rising gender wage gap, the Indian government is considering a proposal to give women a minimum wage of $10 an hour.
The move, which could be implemented as early as the end of 2020, is being seen as an attempt to ensure more women have access to higher-paying jobs and opportunities.
The proposal is part of a broader plan to lift women’s earnings from a dismal $5.75 to a minimum of $12 an hour by 2022, the India Economic Times reported.
According to the Times, a minimum hourly wage of Rs. 10.50 per hour would come into effect at the beginning of 2022.
The minimum wage would also be applicable to all women over the age of 15.
The government hopes to attract women workers by offering them a job, housing and a basic minimum of five hours’ rest every day.
Currently, women make less than $1.75 an hour and the current minimum wage is just $3.50.
The minimum wage proposal comes at a time when women in India are often subject to discrimination in the workforce and the country’s economy.
Women make up only 17 percent of the population and face gender-based violence, discrimination and physical and sexual violence.
The Indian government plans to give a $1 million grant to the Centre for Women’s Development in order to set up a women’s employment agency to provide employment to women, said an official statement.
The Times reported that the proposal comes as the government is also considering an equal pay proposal.
The initiative would be funded by a $50 million grant and the government hopes it will create jobs for women.
According the Times report, the proposal is a response to a government survey that found women earn about 60 percent less than their male counterparts.
The survey, carried out in December, found that women earn 78 percent less per hour than men.
It also found that more than 50 percent of women surveyed did not want to work, and nearly 80 percent said they would rather have a child than a career.