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Desai editorial details decline in Indian women's employment

Flags a squandered 'gender dividend'

In an Op-Ed in The Hindu on June 12 Faculty Associate Sonalde Desai outlined changes in women's employment in India during the last 15 year. She notes this is an incremental decline with a milder effect for urban women as compared with their rural peers.

"One can view this drop in the rural female WPR both positively and negatively," she writes. "If rising incomes lead households to decide that women’s time is better spent caring for home and children, that is their choice. However, if women are unable to find work in a crowded labour market, reflecting disguised unemployment, that is a national tragedy."

She encourages the newly formed Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development to "focus on multi-sectoral reforms that have a positive impact on women’s work opportunities," such as infrastructure development that permits rural women to find work in nearby towns.

See the complete article in The Hindu