Economic Objections to the Policies of the Government of India in Supporting Cultural Motherhood


  • Anu Singh School of Law, Christ University, India



Cultural motherhood, Economic efficiency, Opportunity costs, Gender gap, Economic development


Women being equally valuable resources as labor, human capital, and entrepreneur, should be treated and given enough opportunities and free choices to improve the allocative efficiency of the economy. In these changing times, it is not enough to say no to choice—we must actively work toward defeating motherhood as an idea and practice. Per the data provided by the International Labour Organisation, female labor-force participation has gradually declined from 28.8% to 24% for females aged 15 and more. This paper highlights the economic consequences of gender-equality policies in India and the incapacity of the policymakers to analyze the consequences of such gender-insensitive policies. The author explains and discusses how society, especially the patriarchal family in India, is overutilizing a woman's motherhood, making women invest more than the optimal level of mothering on the one hand and making men perform less motherhood/parenthood than the socially efficient level. The researcher has collected primary and secondary data to analyze the government's leave policy. Upon interviewing more than 100 women and men directly or indirectly involved in childcare through WhatsApp and other calling mediums, author has analyzed that motherhood or mothering is heavily understood as the women's primary job rather than the equally shared and rarely efficiently distributed between the birth givers.


Afridi, F., Mukhopadhyay, A., & Sahoo, S. (2016). Female labor force participation and child education in India: evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. IZA Journal of Labor and Development, 5(1).

Barnett, H. (1998). Introduction to Feminist Jurisprudence. Cavendish Publishing Limited.

Boring, A., & Moroni, G. (2023). Turning back the clock: Beliefs about gender roles during lockdown. Labour Economics, 84, 102363.

Clark, J. M. (1955). Competition: Static Models and Dynamic Aspects. The American Economic Review, 45(2), 450–462.

Columbia Center on Sustainable Invesment (CCSI), UNDP, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), & W. E. F. (2016). SDG5 : Gender Equality. 5–8.

Conlisk, J. (1996). Why Bounded Rationality? Journal of Economic Literature, 34(2).

Duffy, S., Esch, P. Van, & Yousef, M. (2020). Increasing Parental Leave Uptake: A Systems Social Marketing Approach. Australasian Marketing Journal, 28(2), 110–118.

Duflo, E. (2012). Women Empowerment and Economic Development. Journal of Economic Literature, 50(4).

Economic Times. (2023). Women spend 7.2 hours on unpaid domestic work compared to 2.8 hours spent by men: IIMA prof’s research. Economic Times.

Entwisle, D. R., Alexander, K. L., & Olson, L. S. (1994). The Gender Gap in Math: Its Possible Origins in Neighborhood Effects. American Sociological Review, 59(6).

Friedmann, E., & Efrat-Treister, D. (2022). Gender Bias in Stem Hiring: Implicit In-Group Gender Favoritism Among Men Managers. Gender & Society, 37(1), 32–64.

González, X., & Miles-Touya, D. (2012). Labor market rigidities and economic efficiency: Evidence from Spain. Labour Economics, 19(6), 833–845.

Government of India. (2013). No proposal to introduce ‘Parents Care Leave’ on line of ‘Child Care Leave’ – Central Government. 7thpaycommissionnews.

Government of India. (2017). Maternity Benefit Amendment Act,2017. Benefit Amendment Act%2C2017 .pdf

Government of India. (2018). National Minimum Guidelines for Setting Up and Running Creches under Maternity Benefit Act 2017. Ministry of Women and Child Development. Minimum Guidelines.pdf

Government of India. (2019). Amendment in the CCS (Leave) Rules, 1972 consequent upon the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th CPC. Seventh Pay Commission.

M A Hamad, A., Jannial, J., & Indriyani, R. (2022). Mechanisms of the Legal Protection of Human Rights in Global Regulation. Human Rights in the Global South (HRGS), 1(2), 145–157.

IFC. (2018). The Benefits and Challenges of a Workplace Crèche: Employer-Supported Childcare in India. International Finance Corporation.

ILO. (2018). ILO: Women do 4 times more unpaid care work than men in Asia and the Pacific. International Labour Organisation.

ILO. (2023). Labour force participation rate by sex and age. ILOSTAT Explorer.

Jayachandran, S. (2021). Social Norms as a Barrier to Women’s Employment in Developing Countries. IMF Economic Review, 69(3), 576–595.

Jha, G. (2019). Critical analysis of the newly proposed consolidation of banks and its expected impact on the falling GDP of Indian economy. Indian Journal of Economics and Development, 7(12).

Joshi, H. (1998). The Opportunity Costs of Childbearing: More than Mothers’ Business. Journal of Population Economics, 11(2), 161–183.

Kuipers, Y. J., Beeck, E. van, Cijsouw, A., & van Gils, Y. (2021). The impact of motherhood on the course of women’s psychological wellbeing. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, 6, 100216.

Kurzman, C., Dong, W., Gorman, B., Hwang, K., Ryberg, R., & Zaidi, B. (2019). Women’s Assessments of Gender Equality. Socius, 5, 2378023119872387.

Mckinsey. (2021). Women in the Workplace 2021. insights/diversity and inclusion/women in the workplace 2021/women-in-the-workplace-2021.pdf

Mishra, Y., & Sinha, N. (2012). Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: What Has Gone Wrong? Economic and Political Weekly, 47(17).

Neff, D., & Betz, J. (2017). Gender Justice as an International Objective: German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).

Nichols, L. J. (2017). Motherhood and Unemployment. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 76, 1–24.

Nicoletti, C., Salvanes, K. G., & Tominey, E. (2023). Mothers Working during Preschool Years and Child Skills: Does Income Compensate? Journal of Labor Economics, 41(2).

Nollenberger, N., Rodríguez-Planas, N., & Sevilla, A. (2016). The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture. The American Economic Review, 106(5), 257–261.

Pratiwi, C. S., Listiningrum, P., & al Anwary, M. A. Z. (2022). Critiques on Contemporary Discourse of International Human Rights Law: a Global South Perspective. Human Rights in the Global South (HRGS), 1(1), 1–12.

Reanda, L. (1981). Human Rights and Women’s Rights: The United Nations Approach. Human Rights Quarterly, 3(2).

Rummery, K., MCangus, C., & Edwards, A. (2021). Childcare and gender equality. In What Works in Improving Gender Equality (1st ed., pp. 53–78). Bristol University Press.

Sandler, D. H., & Szembrot, N. (2020). Cost of Motherhood on Women’s Employment and Earnings. United States Census Bureau.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2023). Gender Gap.

Times Of India. (2019). Creches for employees’ kids becoming important for NCR corporate firms. Times of India.

Urke, H. B., Mittelmark, M. B., Amugsi, D. A., & Matanda, D. J. (2018). Resources for nurturing childcare practices in urban and rural settings: Findings from the Colombia 2010 Demographic and Health Survey. Child: Care, Health and Development, 44(4), 572–582.

Vitkova, V., Tian, S., & Sudarsanam, S. (2023). Allocative efficiency of internal capital markets: Evidence from equity carve-outs by diversified firms. International Review of Financial Analysis, 86, 102500.

World Economic Forum. (2019). Why Nordic nations are the best places to have children. Weforum.Org.

Wuestenenk, N., & Begall, K. (2022). The motherhood wage gap and trade-offs between family and work: A test of compensating wage differentials. Social Science Research, 106, 102726.







Citation Check