“New India’s’’ Inflexible Workforce – Caring is but Women’s Work: Shalini Grover, Ellina Samantroy, Nupur Dhingra Paiva

Women would continue to drop out and be ‘poor performers’ as long as the mindset at the very root level of our society glorifies their role at home and negates their contribution to the work@office.



A recent BBC article, ‘Why Motherhood Makes Indian Women Quit Their Jobs’ (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-32377275), examines the factors that prompt large numbers of women to drop out of India’s workforce. Despite the country’s growing international reputation as the “new India,” with its allure of economic prosperity, globalized cities, and modern lifestyles, it is not clear how much of the female labour force is contributing to paid employment. Liberalization has indeed opened up opportunities for an entire cohort of young urban women who work in IT, outsourcing, hospitality, media, beauty parlours, cafes, and malls. Ironically, in a period of high growth and open markets, labour surveys such as those conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) reveal an overall declining rate of female labour force participation, an issue that has become a serious concern for policy makers. A World…

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4 thoughts on ““New India’s’’ Inflexible Workforce – Caring is but Women’s Work: Shalini Grover, Ellina Samantroy, Nupur Dhingra Paiva

  1. gurdas

    I sorted the 2013 data and saw some interesting trends. The lowest participation is mostly from countries where Islam is the dominant religion, peace is missing, and are relatively poor. Potent combination, so no surprises. What surprised me is the highest participation is in countries that are very poor and mostly in Africa. The women there collect wood and food, so they are part of the workforce? A bit surprising but not so much when you think of it. The most surprising stats are that the world’s most developed countries are mostly in the 50-60% range. Why not closer to 100%?

    The other day I was thinking about maternity leave. We are all born of women. The society will die if women refuse to take the burden of bearing a child and caring for the infant. One would think maternity leave, up to a couple years, will be a fundamental right. Quite contrary, it is still rare that companies graciously and thankfully give it. I’d like to see a law that says for the first and second child, a woman can take up to 3 years leave and still have the right to come back to the job she had to leave. Further, if she has demonstrated she updated her skills while on leave, she has the right to re-enter the workforce with a raise/promotion. We are not doing a favor by giving maternity leave. We are simply ensuring our survival.

  2. Shaann

    Quiet sad how blindly we accept such data — the number of women in management positions is much higher in Indian tech industry than in the west. The percentage of women in technology sector is highest among Indians and Chinese. Anyone who works in the west can attest this. There was analysis a few years back that confirmed this.

    Motherhood ending career is lot more common in the west (esp UK, US and Canada) than in India.


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