India – McDonald’s India has launched the first all-women drive-thru restaurant in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat. 28 women from nearby villages have been employed to run this drive-thru restaurant.
The new restaurant will be operated by Westlife Development, McDonald’s India’s franchise partner. Westlife Development has employed these women to bring in more women from the region to the workforce.
With this new launch, Westlife now operates 45 McDonald’s restaurants across Gujarat. Reportedly, Westlife Development MD Smita Jatia said, “It is an honour for us to launch our maiden all-women employee-led drive-thru restaurant in Ekta Nagar.”
Jatia further revealed that these women were trained as per FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) guidelines on all the necessary safety, hygiene and other restaurant procedures. FSSAI ensures that food is verified chemically.
Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G7 Summit that India’s approach transitioned from ‘women’s development’ to ‘women-led development’.
Recently, Green energy firm ReNew Power also partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) to train 1,000 low-income women salt-pan workers in India.
Vaishali Sinha, Chief Sustainability Officer, ReNew, said, “This program will be helpful for women. This program is scalable and sustainable from the ground up, rather than top-down.”
The female workforce in India
Since the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, female employment in India fell steeply and plummeted to 9 per cent in 2022. According to the World Bank, between 2010 and 2020, the number of working women in India dropped from 26 per cent to 19 per cent.
Women in India represent 48 per cent of the population, but they contribute only around 17 per cent of GDP. According to the annual bulletin of Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS), 2019-20 data, the female labour force participation in India is way below that of males.