ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women’s Contribution in the Rural Production Process

Women and Work in Rural India edited by Madhura Swaminathan, Shruti Nagbhushan and V K Ramachandran, New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2020; pp 380, `995.

Low and declining women’s labour force participation in India, des­pite improvements in fertility rates and women’s educational outcomes over almost two decades, has been a paradox for the Indian economy. The topic attained wide attention from academics, practitioners, policymakers, government and also other international stakehol­ders, which has resulted in a huge body of literature on understanding and ans­w­ering the varied questions around women’s work and their status in the lab­our force. The factors range from the structural inequalities faced by women workers that maintain their inferior status within the labour force—especially pertaining to wage differentials, rigid occupational patterns, ghettoised nature of work in low-paid, low value added sectors of the economy—to non-recognition of the bulk of unpaid work performed by women in the economy, measurement and definitional issues of what constitutes as women’s work.

The pandemic worsened the situation for women workers. Several research and media reports have shown that women’s work suffered the most in terms of loss of incomes, livelihoods, inc­reased burden of unpaid work and lack of access to basic services. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a figure of 21 million women exiting the labour force between 2017 and 2022 made headlines just a few months ago.

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Updated On : 27th Feb, 2023
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