UNDP India


There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.  

These words from Botswananian lawyer Bosa Sebele, the Africa Focal Point for the United Nations Major Group on Children and Youth, hold true for all women across geographies and time.  

The pandemic has had a debilitating effect around the globe. In India, one of its long-term effects has been on working women and their careers. 

Data from The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that the overall labour participation rate dropped from 46% to 40% between 2017 and 2022. Among women, the data is starker. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of working women in India dropped from 26% to 19%, according to data compiled by the World Bank. CMIE data confirms that post pandemic, in 2021-22 this metric dipped sharply to 9.2%. About 21 million women disappeared from the workforce. 

From handling the mounting load of unpaid care work to the lack of employment opportunities, safe commute, family support or the harsh reality of gender pay gap and inflexible HR policies, the reasons keeping women out of the workforce are varied and nuanced. 

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, UNDP India in association with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India, jointly launched Women@Work — a yearlong campaign to spark discussion and engagement around workplace issues for women and what industry and stakeholders can do to attract, retain and empower women in a bid to reverse the trend. The website is a repository that honours every woman determined to rise and an ecosystem that fire starts her journey.