May 28, 2024


Low women’s participation in the workforce is an extensive issue that continues to exist in a variety of sectors and geographical regions. Women continue to be significantly underrepresented in the women workplace despite substantial advances made in the field of gender equality and efforts to close the gap.

women in workplace

Indian society, which is predominately male, regarding the status of women. Not only do males internalize their place in society as a fair representation of their standing across time, but most women do as well. These generalizations can be applied to almost any known society on the planet to some extent.

  • Because they were unable to pursue further education, women were essentially kept out of high-status, well-paying jobs.
  • Throughout their lives, women take on a variety of responsibilities, from mother to breadwinner, but they are virtually always deferential to men in positions of power and are rarely included in high-status professions or decision-making at home or at work.
  • Ironically, women are denied an autonomous identity and status even in our Indian society, where women are revered as goddesses.
  • When someone is treated differently at work because of their gender, sexual orientation, height, weight, accent, or race, it’s known as occupational inequality. The distribution or allocation pattern of groups across occupations, for instance, the ratio of men to women in a particular occupation, is typically the focus of studies on changes in occupational inequality.

females in the workplace: Causes of Low Participation

Patriarchal Social Standards:

  • Women’s opportunity for education and career prospects is frequently hampered by ingrained patriarchal standards and traditional gender roles.
  • Women’s duties as caregivers and homemakers may be prioritized by society, which discourages them from actively participating in the job force.

Gender Wage Gap:

  • For comparable labor, women in India sometimes receive lower pay than men.
  • The World Inequality Report, 2022 states that women in India only make up 18% of the labor force, while men earn 82% of it.
  • This income gap may discourage women from exploring formal employment opportunities.

Unpaid Care Work:

  • Women are disproportionately responsible for unpaid care and household work, which takes up their time and energy away from paid job.
  • In India, married women spend more than seven hours a day taking care of others and doing housework; men do the same, but less than three hours.
  • Gender disparity in family tasks is large, and this trend is present across caste and income levels.

Social and Cultural Stigma:

  • Women who work outside the home may face stigma or opposition in some communities, which lowers their rates of labor force participation.

woman in the work place: Solution for More Participation

  • Economic Growth: A higher rate of women entering the labor market can result in higher productivity and economic growth since it indicates that more women are actively participating in the workforce. Women’s varied viewpoints and skill sets contribute to the workplace, which encourages creativity and productivity.
  • Women’s Empowerment: A higher labour force participation rate results in a greater number of financially independent women who are able to make decisions regarding their families, education, and personal life.
  • Global Recognition: By utilizing the entire potential of its workforce, a varied and inclusive workforce boosts a nation’s competitiveness in the global arena.
  • Using Demographic Potential: India, which has a sizable young population, can benefit from the demographic dividend by making sure that women actively participate in the workforce, which will support long-term economic growth.

women in the workforce: Government Policies

  • A woman employed in the organized sector is entitled to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave under the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. In terms of childcare, the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 established a clause requiring crèche facilities in any firm with fifty or more employees.
  • Sexual harassment at work is defined by the Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013 and a complaint resolution procedure is established. Additionally, it offers protection from hostile or false accusations.
  • There are also more laws that aim to guarantee equality and fairness in the working conditions of women, such as the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 and the Factories (Amendment) Act of 1948.


Beyond separating women’s lives into realms related to work and living, gender equality should recognize the full worth of all work, formal and informal, done by women. Women’s own discussions within their cultural contexts must inform policy solutions, with an emphasis on enhancing autonomy and providing flexible employment arrangements. Promoting and facilitating increased female labor force participation is not only a matter of gender equality but also plays a critical role in the growth of society. Societies can gain from economic growth, poverty reduction, enhanced human capital, as well as more inclusive and equitable communities by enabling women to reach their full potential in the workforce.

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