Women, Work, and the Economy: The Role of Women’s Collectives in the Female Labor Force Participation in India
Ramesh, K.L. Diksha
India’s rapid growth and development heralds an era of economic prosperity. However, gains from this positive economic outlook are limited by the extent of gender parity achieved in the labor market. India’s female labor force participation has plummeted since the 1990s and continues to remain the lowest in the world. In this thesis, I analyze the potential of women’s collectives as a driver of change, and explore its relationship with female labor force participation. Using the Indian Human Development Survey, I find empirical evidence that membership in various types of women’s collectives is positively associated with greater female labor force participation. I also uncover that the practice of gender-based social norms is negatively correlated with participation in women’s collectives and employment outcomes. This result underscores the role of restrictive social norms in determining women’s upward mobility. My thesis contributes to the growing literature of demand and supply-side barriers that inhibit women’s economic empowerment. From a policy perspective my findings emphasize the imperative of contextually tailored, gender-responsive public policy to advance gender parity and women’s empowerment in the Indian labor force, and to achieve sustainable economic development.
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Ahuja, Natasha (Georgetown University, 2019)This paper examines the extent to which sibling sex-composition affects female labor supply in Nepal. Women's economic activity is essential not only to promote economic growth but also to improve women's well-being and ...