Women’s Labour Force Participation in India and South Asia Have women benefited from an era of globalization and growth?

he conference will discuss studies on women issues in the world of work in India and South Asia, underline key policy areas and strategies to promote the economic empowerment of women and their access to decent work and identify knowledge gaps for further research and analysis.

Press release | New Delhi, India | 08 February 2013
NEW DELHI (ILO NEWS) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, are jointly hosting a Knowledge-Sharing Conference, “Women’s Labour Force Participation in India and South Asia, Have women benefited from an era of globalization and growth” on 14-15 February 2013 at Vice Regal Room Claridges Hotel, New Delhi.

The inaugural session, to be chaired by Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, Hon’able Minister of Labour & Employment, Government of India, will open on 14 February at 9.15 a.m. Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India will deliver the keynote address. Mr. Yoshiteru Uramoto, ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific will give the regional perspective.

Main objectives of this knowledge-sharing conference are to:
  • Discuss studies prepared by the ILO and other experts on women in the world of work in India and South Asia;
  • Underline key policy areas and strategies to promote the economic empowerment of women and their access to decent work; and
  • Identify knowledge gaps for further research and analysis.
The conference will be structured around plenary speeches, technical sessions and panel sessions in order to provide both an overview and in-depth analysis of a broad set of gender issues. A copy of the draft programme is attached for ready reference.

The event will bring together representatives of government departments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, policy planners, academia and other stake holders from India as well as SAARC countries.

Background

Over recent decades, millions of women have joined the labour force around the world as the result of increasing educational attainment, falling fertility rates and other shifting socio-economic drivers of participation. At the same time, women have also taken up work in response to rising living costs and shocks that have hit household incomes. The participation of women in the labour force varies considerably across developing countries and emerging economies, far more than in the case of men. In South Asia, less than one-third of women of working-age participate, while the proportion reaches around two-thirds in East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

The trends in the female labour force participation rate in South Asia reveal a number of challenges. A notable feature is the falling trend in India, which occurred despite economic growth. In India, the participation rate of rural women decreased from 33.3% in 2004/5 to 26.5% in 2009/10 (usual status definition), while the rate dropped for urban women from 17.8% to 14.6% over the same period. Consequently, there were 21.3 million fewer women working in India in 2009/10 than five years previously (93% of this decline was in rural areas).

For further information or to schedule interviews please contact:


Ms Anjana Chellani
Programme Officer
Email
 or
Ms. Neelam Agnihotri
Consultant
neelam.agnihotri@gmail.com