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Differential Determinants of Female Work Participation in Rajasthan and Gujarat


Subhash Chander Naval


Labour is an essential factor of production that contributes to development. The total number of workers in labour supply is highly affected by the behavior of women. In an economy like India both economic and social-cultural factors determine the level of female employment with their dual responsibilities of homemaker and worker. Several studies have suggested and identified some of the possible determinants of female work participation in India (Gulati, 1975; Dholakia & Dholakia, 1978; Bardhan, 1979; Dasgupta, 2005). A major conclusion that one may draw from these studies is that education and the number of young (below 5 years) in the household had a negative effect on women’s labour force participation. Sex ratio significantly increased the participation rate in rural and urban areas. Bardhan found out that low caste and tribal women participate more in labour force than higher caste women even in rural areas.

Employment has a positive effect not only on quality of life of women but it also significantly improves the living standard of the entire household (Subbarao & Rainey, 1993; Dreze and Sen, 1989). Further, drawing women into the labour force by imparting necessary skill training is important for the country as a whole in order to reap the benefits of demographic dividend. Increasing participation of females in the labour force and workforce can be considered as a signal of rising women empowerment. or an outcome of adverse economic shock. The labour force participation rate plays a very essential role in determining socio-economic development and growth. It also has a strong bearing effect on poverty reduction. The labour force participation rate shows the supply of labour in the economy and the composition of the human resources of the country. The analysis of the labour force participation is helpful in determining employment and human resource development related policies at state level also. Yet there is no specific attention at state level in India except few states like Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Chakraborty, I & Chakraborty, A (2010), in their study on Female Work participation and Gender Differential in Earning in West Bengal found that blocks with low female literacy have high work participation and those with high concentration of Muslim population tend to show relatively lower work participation by women. Nomita, P.K. (2013), in her paper entitled Female work Participation in Uttar Pradesh: Trends and Determinants concluded that sex ratio and presence of schedule caste population in a region has positive association while literacy rate has negative association with rural FWPR.

There have been very few studies aimed at examining various dimensions of women’s work in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Figure 1 show that female work participation rate of Rajasthan is 35.1% which is 9.6% higher than national average and is growing with a satisfactory level also. But the entire picture is very gloomy and the structure of female work participation has attracted our attention. The total work force in Rajasthan, according to the 2011 census estimates is 29.9 millions, out of which 18.3 millions are males and only 11.6 millions are females. It is more important to highlight that 10.6 millions female are working in rural areas while only 0.98 millions female are engaged as main and marginal workers in urban areas in Rajasthan. Around 82 percent of total rural female workers and 18 percent of total urban female workers are engaged as cultivators and agricultural labourers, where wages are minimum and working conditions are not appropriate due to climatic reasons in Rajasthan (Table 1). Thus, urban female workers are less in numbers but mostly working in occupations like household industry workers and other workers where wages are comparatively higher than rural females engaged as agricultural labourers. The trend and structure of the female work participation has attracted attention over the past few decades in the world and from the past few years in India is also an effective in Rajasthan to highlight the real situation of women participation, whether they are empowering with their raising level of work participation.




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Differential Determinants of Female Work Participation in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Subhash Chander Naval. 2023. IJIRCT, Volume 9, Issue 2. Pages 1-6.

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