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Report highlights need to boost Indian women's workforce participation

Updated : March 03, 2020 03:20 PM IST

Despite improvements in social parameters, India's growth does not translate into economic inclusion and development of women and the participation of women in the labour force has stagnated and is expected to decline, a report by Google India and Bain & Company said.

Though India has 16 million women-owned enterprises, only 17 percent employ people. In the 17 percent women-owned enterprises which employ people, employment is 20 percent lower than the average. Of the approximately 432 million working-age women in India, about 343 million are not engaged in formal and paid work today. Essentially, 75 percent of Indian women of economically active age are not engaged in paid work today.

According to the report, by 2030 India's working-age population will surpass one billion and 400 million new jobs will be needed for women alone. The report also points out that women entrepreneurs can generate 150-170 million jobs.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Partner at Bain & Company Megha Chawla and Google India and Southeast Asia Senior Marketing Director Sapna Chadha expressed their views on women's participation in the workforce.

"The fact is that we absolutely need to change this. The reasons could be cultural; the path ahead is to recognise that there is a cultural challenge that needs to be addressed," Chawla said.

According to Chadha, women are holding themselves back for a variety of reasons. "If you look across ages, whether women are older or younger, they are holding themselves back," she said.
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