from working outside the home.
The increasingly female face of a new Indian workforce shines at suburban Delhi’s Mall of India. Close to half the employees in its five floors of newly opened food and fashion outlets are women. Just across the street in the old shopping district, females are few and far between. Even the women’s clothing stores are almost entirely manned by men.
“I wouldn’t feel comfortable working with so many other men there,” said Poonam Rawat, a 21-year-old woman who works at Wendy’s in the mall. “Besides, my family would never give me permission.”
Despite great progress in recent decades, India is still a tough place to be a woman. The country has one of the most-skewed sex ratios in the world, with men significantly outnumbering women, the result of selective abortion and infanticide.