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

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Role of Literacy and Industrial Structure in Displacement of Female Workers

Role of Literacy and Industrial Structure in Displacement of Female Workers Ravindra H Dholakia IN a recent paper, Ghosh and Mukhopadhyay (EPW, November 24, 1984) analyse changes in Female Work Participation Rate (FWPR) during the period 1961 to 1981 and observe that "the main element responsible for worsening of the employment situation for the female was the sex substitution in the work-force as a whole" On the basis of this finding, they appear to conclude that development policies and choice of technologies in India have been such that imbalances have resulted between the two sexes in their statuses, opportunities and potentials for contribution to the development of the country. Although their analysis is interesting, it is not carried out in enough detail to warrant such a conclusion. This is firstly because, their Displacement Effect encompasses both the effects of technology and industrial structure. Secondly, their calculations of different contributions is based on only partial contribution approach and hence cannot be considered unique (See Denison, 1957 and Brown, 1973). Thirdly, they have totally ignored the aspect of literacy which is very important in the context of FWPR. Finally, although they show awareness of the problems of inter- censal comparability of data on workforce, particularly between 1961 and 1971, they have ignored it for all practical purposes.

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