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

Articles by Neetha NSubscribe to Neetha N

Crossroads and Boundaries

The absence of a gender perspective in the labour laws and the absence of any labour rights perspective in the anti-trafficking frameworks are the twin flaws that are particularly detrimental to the interests of migrant women workers in India. A corrective course that is cognisant of both the gender structures in labour relations and the gendered employment crisis is the need of the hour, if the state’s obligations under the Constitution are to be fulfilled.

Women’s Unpaid Work

Mainstreaming Unpaid Work: Time Use Data in Developing Policies edited by Indira Hirway, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp 430, ₹ 1,195.


Employees’ State Insurance Scheme for Domestic Workers

The recent move of the government to extend the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme for domestic workers clearly shows the callousness of the initiative and the non-committal approach of the state to the concerns of domestic workers. For the first time, a discriminatory approach within the ESI scheme to a specific category of workers is noticeable.


Crisis in Female Employment

This paper, based on NSS employment and unemployment data for various rounds since 1999-2000, highlights the trends and patterns of inclusion and exclusion in female employment across social groups. It provides evidence of increasing social inequalities in female employment, alongside worsening gender-based segregations. It also shows how specific attention to social and cultural variables could overturn standard assumptions regarding women's employment, which indeed has relevance for more general discussions on employment in the country.

Minimum Wages for Domestic Work

Apart from labour market issues that govern legislative interventions, a critical factor in understanding the responses of the state to the issues domestic workers face is the social understanding of household work. Minimum wages for domestic workers in the few states where it is mandated are among the lowest in the informal sector, reflecting the undervaluation of housework even when it enters the market. Better statutory minimum wages for domestic workers would not only help protect their rights, but could also shake the social and political foundations of household work, leading to a new valuation of it.

Gender Dimensions: Employment Trends in India, 1993-94 to 2009-10

The data from the National Sample Survey Office's 66th round survey highlight a steep fall in the female work participation rate between 2004-05 and 2009-10. Examining some of the explicit and not-so-explicit trends in women's work participation in India from 1993-94 to 2009-10, this paper argues that indications are that there is a crisis in women's employment under liberalisation-led growth. It shows how specific attention given to unpaid work in nss data can overturn standard assumptions on women's employment and that this is vitally important to discussions on employment growth in India.

Estimating Unpaid Care Work: Methodological Issues in Time Use Surveys

Feminist economists have been working on making visible the contribution of women to the economy. Time use surveys which were originally designed to capture women's contribution in unpaid productive work are now increasingly being used to understand and measure unpaid care work. However, these surveys are often designed within a very limited and simplistic understanding of care work, caregivers and the relationship that governs such work. The 1998-99 time use survey conducted by the Central Statistical Organisation is the only large-scale one on unpaid care in India. This paper critically discusses the scope, design/methodology of the survey and raises issues that are significant in capturing unpaid care work.

Report on Employment: A Bird's Eye View or An Eyewash?

The first "Annual Report to the People on Employment" prepared by the Ministry of Labour and Employment is a disappointment for it does not add to what we know and it avoids asking difficult questions.

Regulating Domestic Work

Domestic work is next only to education in its share of total female employment in the service sector. Except for piecemeal measures in a few states, there is no legislation to protect this vulnerable workforce or monitor the increasing number of agencies supplying domestic workers who are mostly recruited from the tribal pockets of underdeveloped states.

'Invisibility' Continues?

While the NCEUS report on social security for unorganised workers acknowledges the existence of unpaid workers, the definition of the "informal worker" to determine social security coverage excludes them from its ambit. This elimination of unpaid workers from social security coverage has serious gender implications for women who overwhelmingly make up the numbers constituting unpaid family labour.

Making of Female Breadwinners

Based on a study of female domestic workers in Delhi, this paper highlights the primary role of women in migration and the survival of family. Women domestics are found assuming vital functions and roles in migration, the settling-down process and in the search for job. Women are seen as central in accessing and mobilising social networks, which not only direct the course of migration, but also the survival of the migrant family in the urban milieu. Women, are thus part of the migration systems and subsystems and take up numerous functions. This calls for a re-examination of the validity of some of the widely accepted male-centric analysis in the literature on migration.


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