Women in Work Force – Part 2


I recently got a response to my article ‘Women in Work Force’, that women are leaving the work force because they need to take care of the children.

The justification seems logical but does not hold merit as –

  • Did women not have to take care of children in 2004? Were women not taking care of children earlier and therefore working and have recently realized over the past decade that they need to take care of children?
  • The proportion of children to the total population of India has reduced in the past decade, implying that lesser women-hours are to be spent on taking care of children now as compared to a decade earlier. Therefore logically their participation in the labour force should have increased as opposed to decreasing.

As per the census of India[i], the proportion of children in the age group 0-10 years has reduced from 26.5% in 2001 to 22.3% in 2011. This means, now more women should have free time as they donot have to take care of the children.

Another justification given for women going out of the work force is that they join the part-time labour force. If we analyse the labour force taking into account the subsidiary economic activity (ss) workers, even then number of women participants have reduced by 20%.[ii]

Female Labour Force Participation Rate (ps+ss)

Male Labour Force Participation Rate (ps+ss)

Hence, none of the justifications seem to be backed by facts.

[i] Census of India: 2011 and 2001

[ii] NSSO employment surveys 60, 62, 64, 66 and 68. Usual Principal Activity Status (ps) and Usual Subsidiary Economic Activity Status (ss) approach data. (Participation rate per 1,000)

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4 Responses to Women in Work Force – Part 2

  1. Great Work and analysis. More of these kind of analysis need to come out so that people realize the facts

  2. Not able to understand what we are trying to establish here. Looks good data.. but help me understanding on what area we can use this data?

    • Burt Phoenix says:

      This is not a causal analysis. It is just showing a trend that labour force participation rate of women is reducing over the years. The reasons for these reductions may be varied. In part 2, one of the reason given for reduction of women from labour force was debunked. The reason was women leave the work force to raise children.

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