Compared to urban women, more rural women are found working. Why?

The percentage of female workforce in the rural areas is nearly 30 % while it is only 14 % in the urban areas. This depicts that as compared to the urban women more rural women accounts for higher share in the female workforce. While on the one hand, the rural women are less educated, unskilled and low productive, on the other hand, urban women being more educated and more skilled and productive have higher probability to get employment. Ironically, the urban female accounts for lesser share in the female workforce as compared to their rural counterparts. The following are the reasons for low share of urban females in the total female workforce:

  1. As in the agricultural and allied activities, high degree of skills and specialisations is not required, so, rural women engage themselves to support their family on farms.

  1. As poverty in the rural areas is more widespread than in the urban areas, so, the rural women engage themselves in low productive jobs just to support the livelihood of their families.

  1. As the urban families usually earn comparatively higher income than the rural families and, further, poverty in the urban areas is not as widespread as that of in the rural areas, so, there is lesser need for female members to get themselves employed.

  1. The decision to take up jobs by the female members rests on the family’s decision rather than her individual decision.

  1. Although female literacy in India is improving, yet it has to get much better before urban female accounts for higher share in the total female workforce.


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