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

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Engendering Social Protection Strategies

Gender & Social Protection Strategies in the Informal Economy by Naila Kabeer (Routledge,London: Commonwealth Secretariat), 2010; pp xviii + 385,Rs 795.

Naila Kabeer’s main aim in this book is to investigate the constraints that face women located mainly in the informal economies. The book makes several strategy and policy suggestions in this regard. In particular, the women from low-income households are considered, those who are engaged in casual, poorly paid and irregular activities that lie largely outside the formal social security and protective legislation. She also examines why such a vast majority of women are engaged in these forms of work and what implications this has for their ability to provide for themselves and families and what could be done to cope with their insecurity. An attempt is made here to evolve an analy­tical framework, one that blends gender, life course and livelihoods perspectives, traversing the ­interactions between gender inequality, household poverty and labour market forces that help produce gender-­diffe­rentiated experiences of risk and vulnerability suffered mainly by the working poor.

The book draws on practical experiences and using this framework highlights the relevance of a gender-analytical approach in the designing and evaluation of a range of social protection measures that are extremely useful to women at different stages of their lives. Some of these include conditional and unconditional social transfers to miti­gate child labour, promoting their ­edu­cation, providing childcare support for working women, ensuring financial services for the poor, employment gene­ration through public works as well as appropriate measures for old age security.

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