Laws related to working women in India*
India has witnessed many social changes post independence. Today, women have come out of homes and established an identity of their own in different areas of work. Though most Indian adult women make an economic contribution in one form or another (including housework, working in family land etc.), much of their work is not documented. This is because majority of women workforce is employed in the unorganized sector and working for family is considered as responsibility which should not be counted. The Economic survey data for 2007-08 reveals that the overall percentage share of female participation in work was comparatively low as compared to that of male.
Owing to cultural restrictions and family responsibility, women participation in the formal economy is limited. Some other concerns that affect working women relate to gender discrimination, quantum of payment, safety at work place, working hours and conditions of employment that are sensitive to cultural and religious bondages as well as family responsibilities. Indian legislature has been active on this front. Its main focus is on reducing inequality of any sort, and thereby promoting a fair, non-discriminatory and safe work environment.
Indian political and administrative structure is multi-layered. At the apex is the central government, under which there are states and local self bodies. Responsibilities for legislation are also divided accordingly, so that autonomy of states is protected. In labour legislation, both center and states have powers to enact suitable legislations.