Women Workforce under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

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Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGS) is a demand driven wage employment scheme which provides for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

As per the Para 15 of Schedule-II of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, “Priority shall be given to women in such a way that at least one-third of the beneficiaries shall be women who have registered and requested for work. Efforts to increase participation of single women and the disabled shall be made”.

To encourage women to participate in the works under the Scheme, features like separate schedule of rates for women, no discrimination in the wage, women caretaker for looking after children up to five years of age, if there are 5 or more children of such age, encouragement to women SHG members as mate, worksite facilities exist under the Scheme.

Project ‘UNNATI’, launched in December 2019 by Government of India, is a skilling project that intends to upgrade the skill base of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS workers, and thereby improve their livelihoods, so that they can move from the current partial employment to full employment. This includes women member of the selected households.

The rate of participation of women (percentage of women person-days out of total) and the computed women person-days in Mahatma Gandhi NREGS during the last two financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22 is given below:

Financial Year



Women participation rate (%)



Women person days (in crore)



(As per NREGA Soft)

As per Schedule I of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, “the schedule of rates of wages for various unskilled labourers shall be fixed up so that an adult person worked for eight hours which include an hour of rest will earn a wage which is equal to the stipulated wage rate and the working hours of an adult worker shall be flexible but shall not spread over more than twelve hours on any day”.

The welfare measures to workers at the worksite under Schedule II of the Act are given below:

 (i) If any personal injury is caused to any person employed under the Scheme by any accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, he shall be entitled to such medical treatment as required, free of cost.

(ii) Where hospitalisation of the injured worker is necessary, the State Government shall arrange for such hospitalisation including accommodation, treatment, medicines and payment of daily allowance which is not less than half of the wage rate.

 (iii) If a person employed under the Scheme meets with death or becomes permanently disabled by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, he or his legal heirs, as the case may be, shall be paid by the implementing agency an ex gratia as per entitlements under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana or as may be notified by the Central Government.

(iv) If any personal injury is caused by accident to a child accompanying a person who is employed under the Scheme, such person shall be entitled to medical treatment free of cost; and in case of death or disablement of the child due to the said accident, ex gratia shall be paid to the legal guardians as determined by the State Government.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Rural Development, Sadhvi

Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.



Source PIB