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We, at Nikore Associates, spent a large part of 2019 compiling a chapter titled "Women's Human Capital" that was published as part of this book. The chapter analyses women’s participation in the Indian economy since its independence, enumerated by government surveys.

We have our team - Poorva Prabhu, Manvika Gupta, Ujjwala Singh, Akshatha Prabhu, Charmi Mehta, Khyati Bhatnagar, Vidhi Narang, Akshay Kankar, Janavi Gupta, and Srilatha Adabala - to thank for their dedicated work towards the completion of this study.​

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Mitali presents the key findings from our chapter.

India’s female labour force participation rate was a meager 17.5% in 2017-18, the lowest ever since we gained Independence. Wage gaps have remained stagnant over the last three decades, with the female wage being about 60-65% of the male wage. And the workforce participation rate among graduate-level urban educated women has hovered between 27% in 1999-00 to 28% in 2011-12.

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"India is a country where less than a quarter of women have joined the labor force, and only a fifth are employed. Over the last 70 years, women have remained on the margins of the formal economy. Their economic contribution is underreported, not only because their domestic work is not valued in monetary terms, but also because a lot of their productive economic work occurs within the household" - Mitali Nikore.

In this masterclass, Mitali delineates some of the chapter's key findings and its implications in a post COVID-19 scenario.

Reviews
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A product called Woman by Tanvi Shukla

This review weaves the well-researched facts of the book with the said yet unheard stories of millions of women dragging their life through inequalities and injustices, unfortunately, making it a way of life.  

 

It provides the suggestions from the book of missed but much-needed policy changes to help Indian women step forward in a very important way, as they aspire to, and genuinely deserve as well. 

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The Indian Women's Journey -

A Book Review by Prerna Mukharya

The book “The Indian Women’s Journey: The Last Five Decades” is a remarkably researched, expertly recounted and an insightful read which offers its readers a retrospective and prescient view - exploring pressing issues of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The book explores the mutating momentum of the journey of India’s women and their interaction with different facets that impact a country’s development – be it the economy, politics, law, education or health.

 

Going through the book, I found Mitali Nikores' account (an expert, and someone who knows and studies her numbers well - a quality I deeply appreciate) of women's human capital extremely perceptive and stirring at the same time. Her discerning words on the decline in women’s rural/ urban rate of employment from 1987 to 2017 highlight an urgent development challenge and the need for a multi-stakeholder intervention. 

 

I would recommend economists, aspiring economists and all individuals keen on policy to read to this astute commentary.

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The Indian Women's Journey -

A Book Review by Ankitha Cheerakathil

A concise compilation of insightful and data-driven essays written by pioneering women leaders and academics from India, the book covers every aspect of women’s position in society... Mitali Nikore’s essay ‘Women’s Human Capital' [is a] well-researched and evidence-driven piece... It is the need of the hour to have a concise and comprehensive academic volume like 'Indian Women’s Journey' in order for feminist activists, economists, students and civil society stakeholders to understand the roots of the cause that they’re fighting for.