The government has told Parliament surveys over the years depict “a declining female labour force participation rate”, attributing the trend to factors like women getting educated or migrating.
Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, in a written reply to question from Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha member Rita Bahuguna Joshi, said on Monday the government has taken several initiatives to improve women’s participation in the labour force. The steps include setting up child care centres, time-off for feeding children and enhancement in paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
Gangwar said that according to the results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the estimated female labour force participation for women aged 15 years and above in the country during 2004-05 was 42.7 per cent.
In 2009-10, it was 32.6 per cent. In 2011-12, it declined to 31.2 per cent. In 2017-18, it further declined to 23.3 per cent.
“The results of the above surveys are not comparable due to the different methodology followed. However, these results depict a declining female labour force participation rate over the years. This decline may be attributed to factors like higher level of participation of women in education, migration, etc,” Gangwar stated in his reply.