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

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Women at the Crossroads

While the transformation of rural gender inequalities was not an intended goal of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, this study draws on evidence from two villages in western Tamil Nadu to show how the scheme has benefited rural women in particular. Major attractions of the MGNREGA work include local availability through the year, it being perceived as relatively "easy" work with fixed, regular, gender equal wages, and free from caste-based relations of subordination and discrimination. The gendered impacts of MGNREGA are partly due to the universal, right-based and women-friendly nature of the policy, and partly to the specific ways in which this policy is implemented in Tamil Nadu, where it has received significant cross-party political support.

Power, Inequality and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Politics of Ethical Compliance in the South Indian Garment Industry

Based on fieldwork in the Tiruppur garment manufacturing cluster in Tamil Nadu, this paper focuses on the ways in which ethical corporate regulations are shaped by and constitutive of power relations and inequalities in the global market. It explores the ways in which standards imposed on supply firms help to generate not only measurable and auditable changes in conditions of work, but also to mould social relationships between different actors in transnational production chains. It argues that codes and standards do not merely contribute to the manufacture of commodities to specified standards; they also generate new social regimes of power and inequality.
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