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Urbanisation, gender, and social change: Why is female labour force participation so low in India?

Ideas for India

By Deepaboli Chatterjee & Neelanjan Sircar
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India’s low female labour force participation is a complex social phenomenon, resulting from – among other things – patriarchal norms, rural-urban transitions, and a mismatch of supply and demand factors. Based on a field study undertaken in the vicinity of four north Indian cities, this article shows that mobilities, and ease of access to the home, are the most crucial determinants of women’s work participation.

This is the first of a five-part series on ‘Urbanisation, gender, and social change’.