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

Articles by Ishita ChakravartySubscribe to Ishita Chakravarty

The Earning Bhadramahila and the ‘Endangered Race’

This paper attempts to document the changing attitude of sections of bhadralok in colonial Bengal towards middle-class women’s paid work. From the 1920s onwards, a number of journal editors and contributors, overcoming their earlier inhibitions, began to propagate middle-class women’s/widows’ economic independence. However, the nature and limits of the proposed economic independence of the new icon, the earning bhadramahila, were clearly defined by the new discourse on women and work. The same journals publicised a range of other issues including anxieties about the “declining number” as well as the “declining fortune” of Bengali Hindus.

Girl Children in the Care Economy: Domestics in West Bengal

Work participation rates among women are low in West Bengal, below the national average; but the state has the highest incidence of working girl children in the urban areas. Based mainly on secondary data, the analysis here suggests that the relatively high prevalence of domestic service and the tradition of inducting girl children into it have led to this trend. A complex interaction of historical, cultural and social practices, together with economic factors, determine women's work in general and that of girl children in particular. A significant factor in this context is the increasing urban affluence in the state led by the growth of the service sector in the recent years.
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