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Global human development trends display a consistent improvement over time. However, these indicators may not improve at the same pace or even trend in the same direction. India is one such country that displays intriguing trends. While women’s education and health outcomes have improved over the years, women’s political representation and labor force participation rates are lagging behind. This chapter focuses on female labor force participation (FLFP) in India, which has declined in recent years. I discuss the nature of India’s globalizing economy, specifically foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, in conjunction with the changing structure of the domestic economy, to account for current trends in FLFP in the country. The increasing role of the service sector and the accompanying decline in agriculture and manufacturing sectors along with trends in FDI inflows that reinforces these structural economic changes help explain the recent trend in declining FLFP in India. I analyze national level data from 1990 to 2018 to shed light on the relationship between these domestic and international economic factors and FLFP in the country.

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Electronic version of a chapter published as: Security, Development and Sustainability in Asia: A World Scientific Reference on Major Policy and Development Issues of 21st Century Asia, 3, 2023, 235-251. © 2023, World Scientific Publishing Company. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of your chapter can be found on the relevant webpage of WorldSciNet where your article is posted.