Women and work

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Women and work


  • It is necessary to make human life productive, meaningful and meaningful. It enables people to earn a living, gives them the means to participate in society, provides them with security and gives them a sense of dignity. Work is thus inherently and intrinsically linked to human development. However, this understanding of work itself becomes problematic when it is understood in relation to women’s work or labour. Mainly, in most societies both men and women work, although they perform different tasks and functions that normally have different effects and results. Furthermore, cultural embeddings play a very important role in shaping the definition of work locally and globally. The social and cultural conditions given to women, superstitions and religious beliefs and most importantly the patriarchal value system ensure that women remain
  • ‘Dependent’ for both livelihood and financial support.


  • According to the latest, 2015 Human Development Report, Rethinking Work for Human Development, work is a means to unleash human potential, creativity, innovation and spirits.
  • Men and women have historically been viewed as having separate functions within the household and in the paid labor market. Women have been assigned the responsibility of taking care of the household chores, making them work primarily within the confines of their homes. On the other hand, men are more likely to work outside the home for monetary compensation. During the 20th century, these differences began to disappear. Changes are visible in recent times, but only in those parts of the world where there have been notable changes in attitudes and views regarding women’s labor and their contribution to the development of the economy. These changes include resources such as education, employment, equal pay for equal work and most importantly ways to provide safe and secure working conditions to women.


  • With this in mind, in this module we will explore the gendered nature of work done by women. It would start with understanding the ways and causes of gender stereotyping of jobs globally. Then, we try and understand how women’s work remains predominantly underpaid as well as unpaid. In addition, it will explore in detail new types of gender gaps that exist in the global labor market with special reference to India. After which, we will discuss the gendered nature of labor force participation. We will then discuss in detail the concept of feminization of labor and its impact on society at large. Following this, the module moves on to look at the status of women in both the formal and informal economy and how practices in these sectors where gender stereotyping prevail and the role of women primarily as caregivers and reproducers are reflected globally. But more exploitation is done. Lastly, we will look at the concept of glass ceiling effect that hinders the prospects of promotion and better job profile of women in the corporate sector.


  • Gender stereotyping of jobs in the global economy


  • In a speech, UN Women Deputy Director and Assistant Secretary-General Lakshmi Puri said:

– Stereotypes exist in all societies. How we view each other can be determined through oversimplified assumptions about people based on particular characteristics such as race, gender, age, etc. They are based on socially constructed norms, practices and beliefs. They are often cultural, and religion-based and nurtured, and reflect underlying power relations. Negative stereotypes hinder people’s ability to fulfill their potential by limiting options and opportunities. They translate into practical policies, laws and practices that harm women on the ground. Its effect on the mental and physical integrity of women is to deprive them of equal knowledge, exercise and enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms.


  • Stereotypes justify gender discrimination more broadly and reinforce and perpetuate historical and structural patterns of discrimination. Such stereotypes widen gaps within the labor force and reduce women’s full participation in the global economy. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity is 60% worldwide – measured by the difference between women’s labor force participation, wages and income compared to men. Globally, women make up only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.


  • More examples along these lines include gender pay gap, occupational segregation, denial of promotion to leadership, glass ceiling in various occupations, increase in casualty of female workers and feminization of poverty, trafficking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, Honor killings, violence included. against women in domestic spheres, work place and public places, and lower levels of equation and wo
  • RK Opportunities. In fact, the paradox is that the objective of equal economic opportunities for women with better access to education is yet to be achieved.

A could not be achieved. Reconciliation of family and work is exclusively a female matter. It weakens the family and increases discrimination of women in the labor market. No country in the world has been able to bridge the gap in economic participation.


  • Women are under-employed, under-paid and under-represented in top managerial and executive positions in business and politics. This leads to continuous wastage of human talent and hinders economic development. It is impossible to achieve the common goals of global sustainable development and poverty reduction without greater participation of women in economic and political life. Women are key to creating more jobs, promoting research and development, encouraging innovation, increasing competitiveness and fighting social exclusion. Gender equality is often seen as an expensive endeavor. But it is time to recognize that the cost of inequality is far higher.


  • Women’s work as unpaid work


  • With a strong sense of work being considered ‘productive’, work participation rates for women have always been lower than for men. Even at the ideological level, women are considered ‘non-working’. Women are the larger workforce because they are more likely than men to do ‘unpaid’ activities, whether economic or non-economic, women have more unpaid care work than men, and unpaid or low-wage economic activities More likely to join. , More generally, women are less likely than men to engage in full-time regular employment.
  • ‘Workers’ in formal sector enterprises, which is the simplest form of work to capture in surveys. Often the work of women is not recognized by the society, their families and themselves. they are


  • Instead they are considered as housewives, and thus not economically active, even though they are engaged in economic work.


  • Following are the areas in which women’s contribution as ‘workers’ remains invisible and unpaid-


  • Care work- Care work includes taking care of the family members by doing household chores like cooking, washing clothes, cleaning, collecting water and fuel and many other such domestic tasks. Along with this it also includes the subsistence labor of women performed by her for the survival of the family and not for the market. Because the care work is located within the home, it is considered
  • The ‘labour of love’ is necessary and natural and remains unpaid and invisible. Feminist groups have argued that by making this care work unpaid within the home, the capitalist market maximizes profit as it enables the rejuvenation of the existing labor force and the free reproduction of future generations. Women as care workers are only nurturers, breeders, homemakers and housewives who are completely dependent on male bread-earning partners. (Tambe, 2010)


  • Home Based Production- This includes participation of women in home based businesses. These usually include occupations such as farming, pottery making, cloth and wool making, pickles and other household industries. These industries are largely organized using family labor as it involves flexibility of time and low cost of production. Women’s work is productive as they constitute a major part of the labor force in these industries and their labor is unpaid as it is not recognized as work but as part of their domestic duty. This unpaid family labor is also common in modern businesses such as grocery stores, vegetable vendors, etc. It is because of this subsidy and the vital labor that women perform within the home-based productions that the domestic industry survives and sustains. (Same)


  • Gender gap in labor force participation


  • Economic empowerment is considered as one of the indicators of empowerment in the condition of women. In fact, ample number of researches have been done to prove that women’s economic independence not only boosts their own survival but also that of family, community and society. The World Bank Policy Paper on ‘Enhancing Women’s Participation in Economic Development’ (1994) states that women invest proportionately more than men – in education, health, family planning, access to land, inputs and extension – a important part. An act of social justice along with a developmental strategy. It directly reduces poverty through substantial social and economic payoffs. Studies show that income controlled by women is more likely to be spent on household needs than income controlled by men. (page 194)


  • Despite some progress over the past few decades in increasing women’s labor force participation and narrowing the gender gap in wages, gender equality in the world of work still remains an elusive goal. In particular, in the developing world, women make up a large proportion of the world’s working poor, earn low incomes, and are often affected by it.
  • Longer duration of unemployment than men. This is due to the socio-economic disadvantage of women due to gender-based discrimination and their dual role of being workers and caregivers for the society. productive resources, education, skill development and labor

women often have less access to the jar


  • Opportunities compared to men in many societies. Largely, this is due to persistent social norms dictating gender roles, which are often slow to change. Furthermore, women continue to do most of the unpaid care work, which poses an increasing challenge to their efforts to engage in productive work in both subsistence agriculture and the market economy. Segmentation in the labor market leads to two major types of gender discrimination (Sen: 2012)


  • Wage gap between men and women


  • Discrimination in terms of women’s concentration in particular sectors, primarily primary, restricting them to certain types of work in teaching and other care-based industries such as nursing and housekeeping.


  • Women make up a little over half the world’s population, but their contribution to economic activity, growth and well-being is well below its potential, as measured with serious macroeconomic consequences. Despite significant progress in recent decades, where there has been a clear but gradual change in the status of women in society and their increasing visibility in both the organized and unorganized sectors, labor markets around the world, especially in developing countries, remain divided along gender lines. But they are divided, and progress toward gender equality appears to have stalled. According to an ILO report in 2014, female labor force participation (FLFP) has been lower than male participation, women are responsible for most unpaid work, and when women are employed in paid work, they are informal. are over-represented in the region and are among the poor. , They also face a significant pay gap compared to their male colleagues. In many countries, labor market distortions and discrimination restrict women’s options for paid work, and female representation in senior positions and entrepreneurship remains low.


Some of the factors affecting the full participation of women in the labor market are-


  • Lack of unionization to protect women’s rights as workers
  • Lack of purposeful human resource development policy aimed at improving women’s employability and productivity through training.
  • Conceptual ambiguity about the social and economic status of women in different parts of the world.



  • Segmentation in the labor market that works against women.
  • Adverse effect of technological development on women.
  • The common argument of ‘equal pay for equal work’ appears to be majorly misleading on several levels. Naturally marginalized groups like women, children, tribal communities, scheduled castes and so on continue to be exploited at the hands of the dominant groups. Occupational segregation is one way through which gender inequalities are maintained at the workplace in both the formal and informal economies. Occupational segregation refers to the distribution of people within and between occupations and jobs based on a demographic characteristic, which is often gender. This naturalness and desire for occupational segregation at the workplace further diminishes the prospects of women.


  • Accredited worker. Occupational segregation operates both horizontally and vertically. Women are crowded to the bottom and exist only as tokens at the top in the business hierarchy. This type of segregation prevents women from moving upwards which leads to pay disparities.


  • feminization of labor


  • Kanji and Menon-Sen (2001) explain the term ‘feminization of labour’ in two ways. First, it is used to refer to the rapid and substantial increase in the proportion of women in paid work over the past two decades. Globally, the 20-54 age groups account for nearly 70% of the paid workforce members. The figure is less than 60% in developing countries as a group. (United Nations, 1999). The problems are further compounded because these figures do not capture women’s participation in the rural and urban informal sectors in developing countries which is generally less visible and therefore undercounted.


  • However, this low-wage informal sector remains an important employer of poor women in developing and transitional countries (Mehra and Gamaye, 1999). There has been a shift of employment from manufacturing to services in developed countries and from agriculture to manufacturing and services in developing countries along with the trend of feminization of labour. Second, the term ‘feminisation of labour’ is also used to describe the flexibility of labor for women and men, a result of the changing nature of employment, where unregulated conditions once characterized women’s ‘secondary’ employment. Used to go Widespread for both sexes. Informal activities, subcontracting, part-time work and home
  • E-based work has proliferated while unionization rates have declined (Standing, 1999). Particularly in the southern region, the standard labor law applies to fewer workers, either because governments have not enforced it or abolished it outright, or because the existing law is weak and enterprises have been able to circumvent it. Deregulation of labor markets, fragmentation of production processes, deindustrialization, and the emergence of new areas of export specialization have led to an increasing demand for low-wage, flexible female labor.






Women workers in organized sector

  • The formal sector is an organized system of employment with clear written rules of recruitment, agreements and responsibilities. A standardized relationship is maintained between the employer and the employee through a formal contract. Over the past two decades, the female labor force participation rate has dropped from 57 to 55 percent globally, according to a 2014 ILO report. Women and men work in different sectors, professions and firms. Women consistently earn less than men, mainly because of their concentration in low-paying activities and less access to productive inputs.


  • Globally, women are paid less than men. In most countries, women pay an average of 60 to 75 percent of men’s wages. Unfavorable norms and overlapping barriers are major hindrances in the way of expansion of women’s economic activities. As farmers and entrepreneurs, they do not enjoy equal access to credit, land or bank accounts. Prejudicial norms limit opportunities by establishing gender roles early in life that dictate time use and limit expectations of the girl child.


  • It helps to explain why progress in closing the gender gap in one area, such as school enrollment, may not expand a woman’s economic opportunities if social norms or gender-biased rules limit her activity . Legal barriers to women’s work are also a remarkably common barrier. In 2013 of 143 economies, 128 had at least one legal difference in how women and men are treated; 56 countries have more than five such barriers, and 28, more than ten. These barriers include restricting women’s ability to access institutions (such as obtaining an ID card), own property, build credit, or get a job. 79 countries also placed restrictions on the types of work women could do. Husbands can prevent their wives from working in 15 economies.




  • Ghosh et al (2014) have pointed out that the onset and advancement of education and the changing mindset of ‘Generation-Y’ have forced women to think differently to maintain social values and ethics. Furthermore, globalization and changes in economic and social status act as positive catalysts for changing roles and perceptions of the self (Stedum & Yamamura, 2004). Women are participating in large numbers in the public sector and moving towards managerial ranks or higher level management of their participating organization. But Career Path doesn’t welcome women to the red carpet. Despite these positive changes, women still face intangible barriers to climbing the corporate ladder.


  • Historically, participation in the formal economy has been perhaps the most important route to women’s empowerment and increased gender equality. Formal employment can increase a woman’s access to skill development, market information, credit, technology and other productive assets, social security, pensions and social safety nets, and increase the means of earning personal wealth in the form of land, housing and capital. Could The resulting increase in its human and economic resource base contributes to higher productivity, economic empowerment and enhanced economic status, which may result in higher social status; More equal power relationships with men, as well as greater autonomy and negotiating power. Participation in paid work is also associated with a lower likelihood of domestic violence.


In the formal sector, the following occupations have more number of women-


  1. Teaching
  2. Human Resources
  3. Air-hostess/ flight attendant
  4. Receptionist


  1. Glass ceiling effect


The term glass ceiling was used in Gay Bryant’s 1984 book The Working Woman Report. It was later used in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article on barriers to women in high corporate positions. As a political term, it is described as an “overlooked, yet unbreakable barrier that prevents minorities and women from climbing the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.” Look at the informal barriers that prevent minorities and women from receiving promotions, pay raises, and further opportunities. It is glass because it is not usually a visible obstruction, and a worker may not be aware of its existence until he “hits” the obstruction. The glass ceiling is not a barrier to a person merely on the basis of the person’s inability to handle a high level job. Rather,

The glass ceiling applies to women as a group who are prevented from advancing to higher levels simply because they are women.


The invisible barriers leading to the glass ceiling are as follows (Tambe. 2010)


  • Family responsibilities of women which is also considered as their primary role at workplace.
  • Hostile workplace environment.
  • Sexual harassment at workplace, as women are treated as sexual objects.
  • Managerial and supervisory jobs are considered masculine and thus unsuitable for women as they tend to be poor managers and decision makers.


According to Community Business, a Hong Kong-based dedicated to the diversity and inclusion sector

Only 48 women have been appointed out of 1,112 director positions among 100 companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange, a non-profit organisation. he only becomes

Canada’s 5.3 percent of such positions is well below Canada’s 15 percent and the United States’ 14.5 percent. While companies in new sectors of India’s economy are attempting to reverse that trend, they are lagging behind multinationals. India’s Women in Leadership Forum said last year that women hold 5 percent to 6 percent of senior positions in top businesses such as IT company Tata Consultancy Services, IT services company Zensar Technologies and JSW Steel. Two-thirds of our Top 500 companies belong to family business groups and their succession usually proceeds with a strong male preference. Even among general officers, family responsibilities often affect the career progress of women in their early 30s and they lose out to their male rivals on their way to the top.


Indra Nooyi case


Indra Nooyi, a married mother of two from a modest middle-class background, was elected as the chairperson of PepsiCo in 2007. , said in a lecture at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, a few years before he got the job. “Immigrant, person of color and woman – that’s three strikes against you. So I have to work extra hard. More hours, yes. More sacrifices and trade-offs, yes. That’s been my journey.” Mrs. Nooyi, who left India at the age of 23 to study at Yale Management School, worked at Johnson & Johnson, Boston Consulting Group and Motorola before landing a job at PepsiCo. His pay package last year was US$ 10.66 million. Last year, she was ranked number one on Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women and sixth on Forbes magazine’s list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. But where Mrs. Nooyi gracefully breaks through the imaginary glass ceiling, she is alone at the top. Only a few Indian women have managed to climb the highly competitive corporate ladder till date. (The National: 2011)


Women workers in informal/unorganized sector


On the other hand, the informal sector exists only on oral understanding, as it has no written rules or agreements. It has no fixed salary or hours and mostly depends on daily earning. Women are more likely than men to work in informal environments. According to the ILO report (2014), in South Asia, more than 80 percent of women are in informal employment in non-agricultural jobs, 74 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, and 54 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. In rural areas, many women derive their livelihood from small-scale farming, almost always informal and


often unpaid. Despite earning income from informal work, the majority of the poor are women. Just as they earn less than men in the formal economy, they earn less in the informal sector.


Primary source of employment for unpaid women in the form of informal sector self-employment (selling directly to consumer), contract labor (regular production for another organization), casual labor (working on and off for other organizations) Is. Contribution of family members. The most prevalent forms of work are as street vendors or home-based producers (that is, without leaving the confines of the home to produce). According to a 2011 paper by the International Labor Organization, 83.8% of South Asian women are engaged in so-called

‘Weak employment’. The work these women are doing may qualify in most cases

‘Casual labour’, piece-work such as the manufacture of clothing and other small items, produced within the confines of workers’ homes. Informal labor is usually characterized by the absence of decent labor conditions as recommended by the ILO and the lack of any form of safe and adequate wages. Women workers represent a substantial portion of this so-called informal workforce, a portion that has actually grown substantially over the past 20 years. In fact, this growth in the informal economy is significant because it mirrors growth in the formal economy. What position do women generally occupy in the informal sector?


  1. Agricultural labor
  2. Garbage Pickers
  3. Beedi Industry
  4. Domestic Helper/Maid
  5. Street Vendor
  6. construction workers
  7. Sweat-shirt Industry


Chen (2001) outlines the following ways in which women are exploited in the informal economy.


(i) fewer women than men engage in ‘hired’ labour, i.e. women are employees rather than employers;


(ii) wages are lower in the informal sector than in the formal sector, and within the informal sector, women earn less on average than men, the gender-wage-gap is greater than in the formal sector;


(iii) women are more visible in ‘low-value-added’ activities of the informal economy;


(iv) the most invisible informal workers, namely home-based producers, contribute the most to global trade as they form a significant portion of the workforce in major export industries that involve manual work or labor intensive operations, and;


(v) goods and services of the formal sector

Outsourcing is on the rise in the informal economy of services.


Case Study from India






Self Employed Women’s Association (Service)


Informal workers’ lack of power in the labor market stems in large part from their invisibility as a group. A pioneering Indian woman named Ela Bhatt found a solution when she formed the first women’s trade union of self-employed women in 1972, and successfully registered a group of informal women workers as a union. SEWA was able to negotiate with garment manufacturers on behalf of these self-employed women who were doing piecemeal work at home and in factories, while at the same time developing services that increased women’s economic literacy, skills and bargaining skills. Power improved.


It expanded to form other cooperatives, such as those of street vendors or vegetable vendors or craft producers. Over time, it established a micro-enterprise loan program that was adopted by Grameen Bank. Such has been the success of this grassroots organization in mobilizing and increasing the economic potential of informal women workers who subscribe to it, that in 2006 the Government of India invited SEWA to help formulate a national policy on home-based work. Now with 1.2 million members across the country, SEWA has also been successful in lobbying the government to pass a social security bill for informal sector workers. The service has been instrumental in creating global partnerships that have resulted in the founding of HomeNet, an international alliance of home-based workers, and StreetNet, an alliance of street vendors. (Result: )



Gender disparities in time use are still large and persistent across countries. It is very important to acknowledge this in order to understand how male workers are treated as the norm and women as the anomalous within the economy. It is important to understand that the gendered division of labor that is easily absorbed into the way economies operate globally. The subordination of women in the economy is out of necessity to ensure that patriarchal practices are kept intact within capitalist societies. When paid and unpaid work is combined, women in developing countries work more than men, with less time for education, leisure, political participation, and self-care. Despite some improvements over the past 50 years, in virtually every country, men spend more time each day at leisure, while women spend more time doing unpaid housework. When more women work, the economy grows. An increase in female labor force participation—or a decrease in the gap between the labor force participation of women and men—results in faster economic growth.






With the achievement of independence in 1947, women leaders were faced with the opportunity to defend the rights and status of women in the new political system. Leaders relied heavily on a strategy of achieving equality through legal reform in the areas of personal laws to address inequalities in family, marriage and property relations. Addressing the issues of inequalities in personal laws meant addressing the issue of male supremacy in their family based on two different roles for men and women. During the social reform and national movements, an upliftment of the status of women and increased participation of women in the economic, social and political life of the nation was advocated, but without altering the separate roles of men and women in the family and society. Thus demanding equal rights within these structures was a threat to the ‘stable’ family and patriarchal society, fears about which were reflected during debates on fundamental rights and reform of personal laws.

10.2 The Constituent Assembly and the Women’s Question:


The promotion of a stable family life based on two distinct roles for men and women remained the focal point around which social reform and national liberation movements revolved. It was within this ideological framework that the Constituent Assembly of India worked on the question of women. The debate in the Constituent Assembly reveals its eagerness to guarantee gender equality in the political and to some extent economic spheres, but strong opposition to gender equality in the areas of marriage and family, which were governed by religious laws.


  There appears to have been a broad commitment to social reform, as evidenced by the inclusion of the Directive Principles in the Constitution, but a complete reluctance to offend religious sensitivities. It included the right to freedom of religion in the chapter on Fundamental Rights and promised to secure a Uniform Civil Code in the chapter on Directive Principles. A conflict between freedom of religion and women’s rights was anticipated by Amrit Kaur and Hansa Mehta, who objected to the guarantee of freedom of religious propaganda and practice. He believed that the words ‘propaganda’ and ‘custom’ could invalidate future laws prohibiting child-marriage, polygamy, unequal inheritance laws, etc., because these customs could be created as part of religious practice. Could they wanted religious freedom

Be limited to religious worship. It was suggested that “freedom of religious worship, freedom of conscience and the freedom to freely practice religion should in fact be given to the individual and the community all that he or she owes.




There is an indication that at one point the suggestion was accepted, but the decision was reversed when the majority in the minority committee voted to reintroduce the terms ‘publicity’ and ‘practice’. Provided that the above clause does not prevent social reform.


Constitution and issues of women’s equality:


The Constitution of India accepted the principle of equality of the sexes. Its Preamble spoke of equality of status and opportunity and social, economic and political justice. Article 14 assures equality before law and equal protection of laws as a fundamental right. Articles 15 and 16 prohibit discrimination of any kind on the basis of sex in public places and public employment. Article 15 also provides that the State may make special provisions for women and children and such provisions cannot be unconstitutional infringing of the right to equality.

Similarly, the retention of personal laws that are based on the principles of gender inequality and subordination of women to the male members of the family and the decision to postpone the enactment of the Civil Code

Equal rights for men and women also negate the principles of justice and equality enshrined in the Preamble and Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. The right to freedom of religion embodied in Articles 25 to 28, as interpreted and legislated as personal law, deprives women of equality personally, economically and socially. sexual, social, educational and cultural levels. The Constitution has nothing to say on women’s labor in the home, AR Desai (1984) describes the economic assumptions of the Constitution, as enshrined in Articles 23, 24 and the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which according to him, Excludes all labor which produces a use. Value (not produced for the market) as non-productive and non-remunerated.


This notion excludes women’s labor at home as having any economic value, generating use values and not commodities. Nor does it view women’s day-and-night work for the family as economic exploitation, especially in the absence of equal rights over family property and productive resources. This judgment excluded a large population of women from the purview of justice and also undermined the right to equality.

The oppression of women in a male-dominated society and the social injustice caused to the lower castes due to the perpetuation of the caste system were not seen




As to the wider issues of social exploitation inherent in the patriarchal system and the hierarchical caste system. Rather, the low status of women as well as other backward castes and classes was regarded as a result of social disabilities arising from our position of backwardness and weakness. That is why the Constitution envisages a ‘Special Provisions’ clause to help these classes and castes overcome the disadvantages, disabilities or weaknesses faced by them. Thus, the problem of deprivation and inequality faced by women is not seen in a way that sees it as being entrenched in the social, economic and political structures of society and politics. Its eradication required social efforts at both physical and ideological levels to make the principles of equality and justice a reality for women.



Women and Five Year Plans:


The focus of programs and activities designed for women was basically to provide welfare services and opportunities such as education, health, maternity and child-welfare, family planning, nutrition and training in arts and crafts. The emphasis in planning was on ensuring women’s legitimate role in the family and community and the provision of adequate services to fulfill that role. Both the nature of activities and the content of training and education were to emphasize separate areas of work for men and women. For example, women’s education focused on providing courses on home-science, child-care, nutrition, health-care, home economics, music, dance, nursing etc. for girls as a major strategy.


  Welfare extension projects included provision of maternity child care services, craft classes, social education for women and child care through balwadis.

An analysis of the First Five Year Plan shows that Indian planners were primarily concerned with helping women fulfill their domestic roles more efficiently. The activities identified in this regard were recreation, education, arts and crafts and cooperative participation in social and economic activities of the whole country.


Although no special attention was paid to women’s issues in state policies and plans, the consideration for women was not completely non-existent. Concern for women was reflected in the women’s sections in the Five Year Plan, in the policies and programs of the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) and the Community Development Program (CDP). There are three major areas of women’s development for planners: education, health and women’s welfare.





prepare women for their legitimate role

This was also reflected in his educational project. Similarly, it was said that providing health education to women was important because, “Educating a woman is educating the whole family” (Government of India: 1951).

The Second Five Year Plan emphasized the need to pay special attention to the problems of women workers who were suffering from certain constraints. For example, unequal pay and lack of adequate training facilities to enable them to compete for higher jobs. It was suggested that possibilities of part-time employment for women should be explored. Both the Second and Third Plans emphasized female education as a major welfare strategy. The courses recommended for girls during both the plans were home science, music drawing, painting, nursing etc. (Government of India: 1961). Under the labor policy, relief and assistance were to be provided to the disabled, old people, women and children.

The Third Five Year Plan also advocated the recruitment of women in family planning programmes. It called upon the trained workers to take up the welfare project

To attract women in sufficient numbers to take up professions like Gram Sevikas (village level social workers). To achieve this, provision was made for residential accommodation, transport facilities and opportunities to work with voluntary organizations such as Mahila Mandals.

No new proposals were made in the Fourth Plan. It reiterated the assistance given to voluntary organizations for implementing programs of women and child welfare. In the field of education, it is observed that there is still a wide gap between the enrollment of girls and boys. The only thing mentioned to encourage girls’ education was that “emphasis will be laid on providing sanitary facilities for girls” (Government of India: 1969). The labor and employment section of the plan did not mention women even once. was done.

The Fifth Five Year Plan once again emphasized the functions of the homemaker for women in both the need for training and educational programmes. It was suggested to start a program of functional literacy giving priority to training needy women from low income families and needy women with dependent children and working women. The objective of this program was to provide women with the necessary knowledge and wisdom




Skills to perform the functions of a housewife, such as child care, nutrition, health care, home economics, etc. Substantial expansion of needy women like widow, destitute and physically challenged was to be done. According to the Fifth Plan, two things were needed for the expansion of education for women. One was the availability of more women teachers and the other was “orientation of curriculum to meet their special needs as housewives and career seekers” (Government of India: 1974).

The underlying realization of the Sixth Five Year Plan document, which included a separate chapter on ‘Women and Development’, was that non-recognition of development and economic issues as women’s issues had marginalized women in society. The plan recognized women’s lack of access to productive resources and education as important factors hindering their development and stressed the need for employment generation for women.


In addition, it identified the main issues of development of women’s health, education and employment. The decision to give joint title to husband and wife in all developmental activities involving transfer of property was a revolutionary decision. This objective was also reiterated in the Seventh Five Year Plan. One of the significant deficiencies in the development of women was identified as the pre-occupation of women with repeated pregnancies.


In this context, special emphasis was laid on providing minimum health facilities along with family welfare and nutrition to women and children. Both the Sixth and Seventh Plans looked at the health needs of women mainly in terms of maternal needs. Family welfare program was to be given top priority. The Seventh Plan brought out the importance and value of domestic non-monetized work by women as an economic variable for the first time but did not go so far as to suggest its inclusion in GDP accounting. The main thrust of both the schemes in the field of women’s welfare was their economic upliftment through more opportunities for salaried, self-employment and wage-employment. The Seventh Five Year Plan pioneered the idea of the Women’s Development Corporation to help women become financially independent and self-reliant. The plan recognized that lack of infrastructure and access to credit, poor marketing facilities and changing production relations unfavorable to women are major barriers to women’s employment, especially in the case of self-employed women.


SOCIOLOGY IN ENGLISH: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuVMyWQh56R3KgAeBpmbY8Gv6201xh2dQ

The Eighth Five Year Plan deviated from the practice of including a separate chapter on ‘Women and Development’. Women’s issues were included under the chapter ‘Social Welfare’. There is no apparent reason behind the change, but despite loud announcements about changing the state’s approach from ‘welfare’ to ‘development’ for more than a decade, women continue to be treated as recipients of social welfare by the state can go.

Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2000)

1) The report of the Working Group on Women’s Development for 2015 also pointed out that the December 1991 Directional Paper was completely silent on the objectives, thrusts and macro-dimensions of the Eighth Plan.

1) The report of the Working Group on Women’s Development for 2015 also pointed out that the December 1991 Directional Paper was completely silent on the objectives, thrusts and macro-dimensions of the Eighth Plan.

1) The report of the Working Group on Women’s Development for 2015 also pointed out that the December 1991 Directional Paper on the objectives, thrusts and macro-dimensions of the Eighth Plan was completely silent.

Targeted approach towards the development of women. The plan made two notable and innovative observations.

First, it has led to under-reporting of women’s contribution to the economy and gender bias.

Attention was paid to the fact of perceptual, methodological and perceptual problems reflecting biases that did not attach any economic value to domestic work and various types of subsistence activities. Second, it recognized the need to change societal attitudes and perceptions regarding RO.

About women in different walks of life. The plan document acknowledged the rise in violence against women. It said women suffer due to ignorance of their legal rights, strong social resistance to giving women their due share, lack of legal aid facilities and almost absence of strong women’s groups in rural India.


  According to the plan, change in this regard can be facilitated by the empowerment of women and adjustments will be made in the traditional gender specific performance of tasks. The plan also noted the existence of a large number of women-headed households and suggested increasing women’s control over economic assets and services.

  Social Welfare and Women:


The Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) was established as the central official agency to implement the welfare programs of the state in accordance with the various Five Year Plans. As a result, both the CSWB’s policy direction and structure have been plagued by problems since its inception. In the beginning there was no clarity about what ‘social welfare’ was. In the absence of clarity of objectives, no direction could be laid down in which direction the programs were to proceed. This was very detrimental from the perspective of women as these programs ended up giving little financial support or training in traditional crafts. While many welfare programs




Efforts were made to improve the earning power of women, but it did not have the desired effect. This was because while women were trained in production skills, no attention was paid to organization and marketing. The result was that these schemes could not achieve the objective of providing employment and making women economically independent. At an ideological level, training in traditional and domestic crafts tended to reinforce women’s traditional areas of work.


It also emphasized societal notions about the home being the main sphere of activity for women. The assumption was that these activities could very well be done from home where women could easily combine both household work and income-generation. In short, the programs were neither equipped nor intended to introduce women to new technological developments and the process of modernization.


Women in Community Development Program:


One of the earlier efforts to improve the status of women in rural India began with community development programmes. This program was launched in 1952 with a view to bring about socio-economic transformation of the rural community by mobilizing both government and community resources. The program was aimed at all round development of the rural community with the three basic objectives of economic development, social transformation and self-reliance with the help of local people. Despite this, both the people and the bureaucrats had no clarity on its objectives and how they were to be achieved.

The program had nothing much to offer as far as women were concerned. There are two versions on this omission. According to one, the planners in their preoccupation with agricultural development forgot about this aspect. It is not possible to take root in any program until women come to the fore. Realized this too late. According to another version, the policy-makers deliberately refrained from devoting themselves to women’s work, because of the social resistance faced by the rural community as well as the prejudices of the planners and implementers. Within a few years, the government decided to integrate the Central Social Welfare Board and the Community Development Programme, which added a welfare services component to the Mahila Mandal programme. There was no plan in the programs for such schemes, which could increase the income of women. In its absence, considerable effort was required to find a group of women willing to participate in the program and then to sustain their interests. As a result, many women fell




dropped out and the officials tried to bring them back without understanding the real reasons for the drop outs.


Agricultural Policy, Land Reforms and Women:


The two major objectives that dominated agricultural policy in India immediately after independence were to reduce social inequalities in land ownership and to increase agricultural production. Land reforms and modernization of agriculture were two important policy measures adopted by the Indian planners to achieve these objectives. It was believed that increasing agricultural development would reduce poverty and that land reforms would lead to a reduction in disparities between rich and poor by eliminating intermediary interests between the state and the cultivators of the land, providing security to the tenants.

The medium will provide more social justice. Tenancy and eventually ownership rights and by imposing ceilings on land holdings and distribution of surplus land among the landless. The two goals—greater social justice and greater production—were seen as mutually helpful.

The above enumeration of the objectives of the land reform policy makes it clear that the land reforms were aimed at removing class-inequality and not gender-inequality. There is a general acceptance of the fact that the land reform policy adopted by the state was one of the biggest blows to women’s access to productive resources (Sharma: 1985).

In the context of land reforms in India, the position of women with regard to land rights was influenced by various factors. Firstly, the federal scheme of the Indian Constitution placed land as a state subject and the states were given considerable legislative powers with respect to agricultural land. Secondly, agricultural land was kept outside the purview of personal law, which governed matters of succession in other property. While the inclusion of agricultural land in personal law did not address the discriminatory aspects of these laws, women were denied whatever little inheritance rights they had under their respective personal laws. Third, since the land reform policy is guided by the twin objectives of social justice and improving agricultural production, the arguments for land to the tiller or farmer, fixation of land boundaries, prevention of land fragmentation, redistribution of surplus land, etc. Is. land reform process. But the goals of social justice and giving land to the tiller did not include giving gender justice




Women and women with equal land ownership rights are not seen as farmers or tillers by planners, law-makers and administrators while distributing land. In this context, the tenancy laws, land ceiling laws, assessment of surplus land, definition of household for the purpose of land ceiling and recognition of only male as the head of the household for the proposal to declare surplus land are all relevant. has contributed to both the perpetuation of gender inequality (such as excluding daughters and sisters from the purview of tenancy laws) and the creation of new ones (such as declaring land owned by women as surplus).

The subordinate position of women in the agricultural economy is linked to the state’s decision to transfer agricultural land according to local custom or state legislation, which protects the rights of men against women, or even the individual laws of each community. Also according to This not only led to multiple systems of tenancy laws but also state support to the dominant patriarchal culture in both tribal and non-tribal communities.


  The country’s two major personal laws, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, left agricultural land out of its purview, apparently barring female heirs from sharing the landed property to keep. The Shariat Act of 1937 was passed with a view to make Shariat the basis of Muslim personal law. But since the Shari’a recognizes women’s inheritance rights, such a law would have had a positive impact on women’s rights in agricultural land. Such a move was seen as a threat to patriarchal interests on the land. The move was strongly opposed by the male landlords, resulting in the exclusion of land from the purview of the Act.

Since the legal system recognized only male rights in agricultural land, even the customary and usufruct rights of women in the land were adversely affected. Thus, when land reforms were carried out, they often reduced women’s control over land by ignoring the rights of its traditional users and granting land rights only to male heads of households. Although it was nowhere stated that women would not be given the right to land, the fact that gender inequalities were not recognized and were not seen as a problem in the same way as class inequalities, official prejudices contributed to the lack of access to land. Headings invariably dropped away. For the men in the family. In addition to tenancy provisions, land reform acts related to boundary demarcation have also contributed to widening gender inequalities. The boundary setting is directly related to the definition of family, which varies widely among states.


  Public Policy on Women in the Post-1975 Period:


There is no doubt that it is to the credit of the women’s movement and women’s studies and research since the 1970s that gender has come to be accepted as a relevant political category and an important factor in the determination of policies at various levels. It is no longer just the movement that is addressing women’s issues, but academicians, state functionaries, development agencies and activists are all engaged in intense debates on the status of women and how this is part of their work and needs and strategies. related to improvement. their position. Expressions such as gender bias, gender discrimination, gender panning, gender sensitization and gender training are dominating development thinking and policy-making. During this, many issues related to the nature and accountability of the state were raised. wife

Violence against women in the family and discriminatory and oppressive conditions of work in informal sectors expressed women’s anti-patriarchal sentiments during this period. But it was only in the late seventies that widespread media coverage, the Western women’s movement, the International Women’s Year and the Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India (1974) brought a kind of focus to women-centred activities. While the institution of patriarchy became increasingly important in analyzing the status of women and understanding the movement, especially among leftist and autonomous women’s groups, the state remained a major site of struggle for the women’s movement.

Another key assumption that was attacked was the gender-neutrality of development. The exclusion of a large number of women from the grounds of progress, modernization and development became a defining focus of women’s studies in India. The “Towards Equality” report busted the myth that with constitutional guarantees of equality between the sexes, the development process would equally benefit all sections of society, irrespective of gender. This showed that the process of development affected men and women unequally due to the initial disadvantage of women. It also observed that despite formal guarantees for gender equality in the constitution, women were not only far from achieving equal rights but there are still areas where women do not have equal rights. Later unconventional questions such as the nature of women’s employment, the impact of technology on women, female-headed households, work conditions and female poverty, became the basis for ongoing work.

An important issue that was mainly focused on by running various campaigns was the issue of violence against women. Other areas covered in the campaign were sexual harassment of women on the streets and in the workplace, derogatory portrayal of women in the media and later, in the mid-eighties, the issue of sex-determination tests, female feticide. murder, sati (widow sacrifice) and violence against women during communal riots.


SOCIOLOGY IN ENGLISH: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuVMyWQh56R3KgAeBpmbY8Gv6201xh2dQ





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