Female Labour Force Participation in India: Understanding the Nature and Constraints


  • Delhi School of Economics, PhD Scholar, Delhi, 110007, India


Rising education of women and falling fertility has not translated into greater participation of women in the labour force. Understanding the nature of and factors affecting women’s employment is pivotal to direct policy initiatives in addressing the issue. Using a nationally representative dataset, this study analyses various factors affecting women’s employment with specific focus on the presence of young children in the household. The paper also studies the nature of employment as a ‘work away from home’ and ‘full-year or not’ and effect of various factors on the same. The study finds that apart from other factors, presence of very young children in the household acts a major constraint to a woman’s participation in the labour market, ie., decreasing their likelihood to work. Moreover, even if a woman participates, presence of young children may affect the nature of work that she engages in. Whereas we find no effect of child-care responsibilities on the place of work of women, there is significant negative effect on women’s nature of work being full-year if there are young kids in the household.


Child-Care, Child-Care Institutions, Employment, Female Labour Force Participation, Patriarchal Norms

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