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

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Irrigation Development and Agricultural Wages

Irrigation impacts agricultural wage trends through increased demand for labour, cropping intensity and shift in the cropping pattern from low value crops to high value crops. An attempt is made here to explore the relationship between irrigation development and wage rate of agricultural labourers using statewise cross section data pertaining to five points of time: 1972-73, 1977-78, 1983, 1987-88 and 1993-94. The results of the study show that there is a positive impact of availability of irrigation on real wages of agricultural labourers. Also irrigation helps to narrow down the difference between the statutory minimum wages and prevailing wage rates. The gender wage differential is found to be narrowing at a faster rate in the states where irrigation is highe

'Brighter Side' of Seasonal Migration

The paper is based on field surveys of two locations of rural West Bengal during the1990s. It presents contrasting scenarios of fertility behaviour and its transition for a tribe, namely Santals, between two locations as well as between Santals and lower caste people in the same village. The Santals of Chitrihutu, who migrate seasonally, evince not only low fertility, but they indeed appear far ahead of non-migrating Santals of Thupsara in terms of contraceptive practices and fertility control. The positive role of seasonal migration in hastening fertility transition has been the central message of the present study.

Informal Labour in Brick Kilns

This paper reports a study of two brick kiln operations in northern India. These kilns operate in a largely unregulated manner in the informal sector and remain outside the purview of workplace laws, with workers bound to contractors and owners by the system of advance payments. Several committees have made recommendations to improve working conditions, but few of these have been implemented.

Gender Differentials in Famine Mortality

For most of south Asia gender differentials in instances of famine mortality have generally shown a pattern of relative female survival advantage during crisis. Yet variations in its occurrence and its antecedents have not been inquired into very systematically. This paper attempts to look at gender differentials during two 19th century famines - the Madras famine of 1876-78 and the Punjab famine of 1896-97 - from a public health perspective. It is an attempt to explore links between gender discrimination, status and labour force participation during the colonial period.

Undermining Patriarchy, Empowering Women

Bangladeshi Women Workers and Labour Market Decisions – The Power to Choose by Naila Kabeer; Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 2001; pp 464 , Rs 575 (hardback).

Non-Conventional Indicators

Prevalence of mental distress and of abuse and violence are important indicators of the wellbeing of a community and are significantly differentiated by gender. The socio-economic changes wrought by structural reforms have the potential to disrupt existing notions of gender in ways that could be threatening, demoralising and oppressive for men and women in some contexts and empowering in others. Some of these factors, especially those that concern gender ideology, may indeed be difficult to 'measure'. It is therefore necessary to consider research methodologies that go beyond the quantitative in order to do justice to the complexity of these phenomena.
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