In the 2023 annual Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), India saw an advancement in its ranking, now positioned at 127 out of 146 countries, marking an improvement of eight places compared to the previous year. However, the report emphasised that India’s attainment of only 36.7% parity in economic participation and opportunity underscores the ongoing challenge of addressing gender disparities, particularly concerning women’s access to economic opportunities.

The involvement of women in the workforce serves as a significant gauge of a country’s economic advancement. Recent Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data indicates a positive trend in female labour force participation rates in recent years. Nevertheless, concerns arise regarding the quality of employment opportunities and the persistence of wage disparities.

In this context, Yamini Atmavilas, President of Strategy, Data & Applied Research at The Udaiti Foundation, joins Anu Maria Francis, Senior Associate – Research & Project Management at CPPR, in this CPPR Dialogue and explores the recent trends in India’s female labour force participation.

Key Discussion Points

1) Changes in the methodology or sampling framework in the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) of MoSPI, which replaced the nationwide Employment and Unemployment (E&U) surveys in 2017-18, and the effect of such changes.

2) Changes in the concept of labour in light of the significant change in women’s workforce distribution in recent years, with self-employment increasing by 10 percentage points between 2017-18 and 2021-22.

3) The trend of increasing labour force participation among rural women as compared to urban women.

4) Major policy changes that are required to improve the FLFPR to a 50 percent level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *