Domestic Labour and Female Labour Force Participation: Adding a Piece to the Puzzle

Abstract
The declining female labour force participation in India alongside high economic growth is puzzling. Increasing educational enrolment, and higher household incomes have been offered as hypotheses to explain the decline in women's participation in work. Increasing participation in domestic activities has been considered "status production," and as evidence that economic growth has been beneficial. However, these explanations do not fully account for why women from households with lower incomes and fewer assets are leaving the labour market. National Sample Survey Office data on "domestic activities" reveals that a significant proportion of women are working to ensure the daily survival of households. It is argued that the shift of women's labour to domestic activities may in fact be a strategy to cope with the immiserating tendencies of the Indian economy.

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