Work participation refers to the proportion of working population to the total population in an economy. It is an important indicator of growth and development in any country of the world. The working age population means the people aged between 15 to 59 years in the economy currently employed or seeking employment. Women constitute almost half of labour force in any economy of the region. But conversion of this labour force into work force is based upon many factors. Actually, women work is hidden either in the form of home based worker or as a domestic duty. These types of works provide either low wages or no wages to the women. Women workers play a very significant role in agriculture based economy. Economic well-being and welfare of female may not ameliorate if they are engaged in low-paying distress-driven work (Srivastava & Srivastava, 2009). Women’s employment played a key role for raising their living standard and well-being. A country’s economic development crucially depends upon the participation rates of its women as they comprise around 50 per cent of its work forces (NIPCCD, 2010). According to the prescribe international definitions, unemployed people seeking paid jobs are considered as the part of the human force, but persons participate in non-income producing activities , like female engaged in domestic work in own home, are exempt from it (UN:1973). Participation in labour force varies among different cultures, caste, sexes, across age groups and religions. The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo (1994), emphasize the significance of economic activity among women, towards aiming the goal of gender equality and women empowerment. The conference prominent that empowerment of women is anchored to their economic status in the society. Mahapatra (2003) emphasize that women’s economic productivity is a critical factor, as the reliance of the family on their contribution to household resource increase with the poverty status of the household. Women’s engagement in various types of economic activity making women more productive & effective earners and also reduces fertility rate, slow down population growth, improving child health as well family status. Negative attitude of the society, illiteracy, safe environment, economic growth, health issue, experiences, fertility and lack of money for starting a business are the determinants of female work participation rate.
The global female labour force participation rate decreased from 52.4 per cent to 49.6 percent between 1995 and 2015 (ILO, 2016). Agriculture is the most important source of income for female in low and middle income countries. In Southern Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa, over 60 per cent of all working women remain engaged in agriculture, often concentrated in time consuming and labour-intensive activities, which are unpaid or less profitable(ILO, 2016). In developing countries generally women work in low income activities such as wage labour, Agricultural labour, clerical, service and sales workers, whereas developed countries women worked in profitable jobs like managers, professionals and technicians. The total work participation rate of India was 39.79 per cent (53.26 per cent male workers and 25.51 per cent female workers) in 2011.