India is expected to surpass China in July as the world's most populous country. Driven by its growth of labor force, the changes to India's population could lead to several years of economic prosperity. However, there is a concern that the gap between male and female employment is too wide.
According to the latest data, there are only 39 million women employed in the workforce compared to 361 million men. It means only 10% of working-age Indian women were either employed or looking for jobs. Experts worry this could become a demographic liability if India fails to ensure its rising population, especially its women, are employed.
The main reason for this is related to the traditional concept that men are breadwinners and women should stay at home. Sheela Singh, a 39-year-old former social worker in Mumbai, said she earned more money than her husband, an auto-rickshaw driver. However, her family had asked her to resign and stay at home to take care of their children while no one suggested her husband with unstable income to quit.