Diversity Asia

First Order of Economic Business: Retaining WOMEN in INDIA'S Workforce

Indian workforce participation rates for women are falling, and India is trying to stop the decline as it pursues greater economic prosperity. Women are an economic force in a country anxious to improve the quality of life for all Indians.
By Jill Motley

India is a country in transition with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the effort to grow the economy through less bureaucracy, more efficiency and full productivity. Already the second most populous country in the world, statisticians project India will eventually outgrow China in terms of population by 2022.

Putting people to work is critical to economic progress, yet the labor participation rate of women has been declining. Despite more women completing secondary education, fewer are joining and staying in the formal and measured workforce. This slows much needed economic progress in India and in the world economy.

Changing the trend is not simple because cultural norms play such...

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