India’s Great Invisible Workforce

Women doing household chores
Millions of Indian women are confined to their homes performing domestic duties for which they receive no compensation. Image:Malini Shankar/IPS

NEW DELHI, Jul 17 2014 (IPS) – According to census data released this month, a whopping 160 million women in India, 88 percent of who are of working age (15 to 59 years), are confined to their homes performing ‘household duties’ rather than gainfully employed in the formal job sector.

Dubbed India’s ‘great invisible workforce’, this demographic is primarily involved in rearing families within the four walls of their homes.

This asymmetry in the workforce, experts say, reflects illiberal economic policies as well as complex social dynamics, which scupper the chances of women in the world’s so-called ‘largest democracy’ to realize their full income-generating potential . . .

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