The Impact of Increase in Maternity Leave on working Women

India has been receiving a lot of flak for the dismal percentage of participation of females in the labour force. The Gender InequalityIndex (Human Development Report 2015) ranks India at 130 among a total of 155 countries, which is at a considerably lower end ofthe table. This index takes into consideration three vital parameters- reproductive health, economic activity, empowerment- and Indiahas fared poorly in all three sections. India’s rank is telling of how much disparity there is between the two genders in the countrywhen it comes to their employment.This gender disparity in India continues to prevail at a time when the views of so many other countries have moved far beyond it. Theglobally appreciated retort of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau- “Because it is 2015”, in reply to a reporter’s question askingwhy it was important to him to have a gender balanced cabinet, is an excellent example of how succinctly powerful the idea of genderparity is starting to become in the world.India’s GDP crossed the $2 trillion mark in 2014 and it is the fastest growing major economy at 7.4 percent (Raghavan 2015) and yetthese benefits have not reached the female labour force. They still continue their struggle to be part of the work force. This is evidentfrom the female workforce participation rate which has plummeted from 35 percent in 1990 to 27 percent in 2012 (GlobalEmployment Trends 2012). Women still spend a large amount of their time in undertaking unpaid work which involves householdduties and care giving.