India has set an ambitious target of achieving a US$5 trillion economy by 2025. However, a steady increase, perhaps even more rapid in recent years, in women’s participation in unpaid domestic work poses a grave threat to India’s economic development. Significantly, the extent of women’s participation in unpaid domestic work ballooned in India, recording a quantum leap from 200 million in 2004–05 to 287 million in 2017–18. The main aim of this paper is to examine the role of socio-economic factors in explaining the willingness of unpaid women to undertake work in the labour market, using data from unit-level records of employment and unemployment and labour force surveys. This study shows that, despite engaging in routine household chores, about one-third of unpaid women are willing to take up work in the labour market. Moreover, the majority of women engaged in unpaid domestic work in India have no choice but to do this work due to the socio-economic constraints. From a policy perspective, governments should encourage unpaid women who are willing to participate in the labour market to do so, by reinforcing gender-focused measures such as provision of basic facilities, public childcare, easy access to credit facilities for entrepreneurial activities, and invigorating technical education and vocational training.
"Are Unpaid Women Willing to Work in the Labour Market? Evidence from India,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 23:
5, Article 7.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol23/iss5/7