Distress or Growth?: Exploring the Recent Trends in Women’s Labour Force Participation

Author: Neha Maria Benny

Discussion Paper




This discussion paper critically examines the recent surge in female labour force participation in rural India, utilising key labour market metrics such as the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker-Population Ratio (WPR), and Unemployment Rate (UR). The analysis unveils the complex dynamics behind this increase, drawing from diverse data sources, including the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), National Family Health Survey (NFHS), State of Working India Report, and Time Use Survey. Emphasising the need for nuanced evaluation, the paper addresses societal norms, property ownership, and financial decision-making in conjunction with the LFPR data. It advocates for tailored strategies to create sustainable non-farm job opportunities for rural women. The findings challenge existing employment policies oriented towards output growth, urging a more comprehensive approach to address the intricacies of female labour force participation in rural India.