India's Blueprint to Boost Women's Workforce Participation to Global Average


IndiaIndia is crafting a strategic plan to elevate women's participation in the national workforce to match the global average, a move deemed essential for achieving its developed nation aspirations by 2047. Currently, India's female labor force participation is at 37%, trailing the global average of over 50%, according to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data for 2022-23.

The blueprint, under discussion among the ministries of Women and Child Development, Labour and Employment, and the Niti Aayog, aims to tackle both demand and supply challenges in women's employment. Key proposals include creating employment incentives, expanding the care economy, and improving access to finance for women, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.

"Boosting the female labor force participation rate is a priority. The upcoming budget could reflect this focus", said a government official, who requested anonymity.

To advance these goals, the Women and Child Development Ministry is expected to establish a committee for stakeholder consultations. This committee will play a pivotal role in shaping policies that address barriers to women's employment, including domestic work responsibilities that limit job opportunities outside the home.

The care economy's development is seen as a significant opportunity to enhance women's employment. "Expanding this sector can unlock substantial demand for women in the workforce, creating numerous jobs", noted another official involved in the discussions.

The upcoming budget, to be introduced this month, may incorporate elements of this strategic plan, signaling the government's commitment to enhancing women's workforce participation as part of its broader economic development agenda.