Trends in Women’s Workforce Participation in India
Female workforce participation rate (FWPR) is an important indicator of women’s economic empowerment and is also reflective of women’s agency at home and beyond. FWPR remains low in India despite economic development, decreasing fertility rates and rising education levels of women and girls. On the other hand, there is a high incidence of unpaid work of women and increased time poverty, i.e., a drastic drop in leisure time and loss of choice over allocation of women’s time across various activities, highlighting the non-remunerative and unrecognised nature of women’s work. Women’s workforce participation varies across rural and urban regions and there are sizable inter-state variations as well. There is a need to examine women’s work in India, in this context.
IWWAGE’s Women’s Workforce Participation in India: State-wise Trends is a series of state factsheets highlighting important aspects of women’s employment across the states in India. The factsheets use secondary data provided by the National Sample Surveys’ recent Periodic Labour Force Surveys (PLFS), PLFS 2017-18 and PLFS 2018-19. The factsheets also draw on data from the employment – unemployment surveys (EUS) conducted by the same agency in previous years as well as data from other sources to support state specific analysis.
The series reveals interesting trends in women’s employment in Indian states such as changes in the composition of women’s workforce by employment status over the years, disaggregation of women workers across major sectors, status of non-wage benefits available to women in regular salaried work as well as insights into the performance of MGNREGA within states.