This paper gives some insight into the existence of a positive effect of family planning programmes on women's employment in developing countries. We study married women aged 15–49 living throughout India using a sample drawn from the National Health Family Survey (NFHS-2) for 1998–1999. We focus on a programme of doorstep services delivered by health or family planning (FP) workers who are sent to visit women in their assigned areas. Results derived from the estimation of fixed effect linear probability and conditional logit models show a positive and significant correlation of the share of women living in a local area (village, town or city) that has been visited by FP workers with the probability of women's employment. A multinomial analysis also shows that the largest positive effect of FP in rural India is to be found on paid work, as opposed to unpaid work, suggesting a potential empowering feedback of demographic measures through labour earnings.