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India’s Rising Wealth Has a Downside: Fewer Women are Working

Employees walk in front of the "Pyramid" building at the campus of Infosys Ltd. at the Electronics City area in Bangalore, India, on Monday, January 27, 2014.

Employees walk in front of the "Pyramid" building at the campus of Infosys Ltd. at the Electronics City area in Bangalore, India, on Monday, January 27, 2014.

Photographer: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg
From

India's robust economic expansion and rising wealth have come at a cost — fewer women are now entering the labor force. That's putting at risk the nation's much-vaunted demographic dividend.

In socially conservative India, well-off families don't send their women out to work, only those that can't make ends meet from just a man's salary do so. Today, just one in five urban Indian females are in the labor force. The bigger picture is this trend will diminish the boost India's economy receives from its vast young population, Oxford Economics said in a report.