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

Articles By Kingshuk Sarkar

The Role of Gender and Caste in Accessing Livelihood Opportunities in India

Against the backdrop of low and declining female labour force participation in India, we use a large, publicly available tehsil-level data set for several Indian states to comment on women’s barriers to accessing livelihood opportunities. Data from the socio-economic caste census seems to indicate that as the proportion of lower-caste households in a tehsil increases, the participation of female heads of households in economic activities, which improve labour force participation at the bottom of the pyramid, also increases. This is significant given the largely informal labour force and inadequate job creation in the formal economy. Lower-caste women may readily pursue informal livelihoods suggesting barriers for upper-caste women, crucial amid limited formal job opportunities in an economy dominated by informality.

New Labour Codes and Implications for Women Workers

The union government has enacted four new codes amalgamating existing 29 labour legislations, and presently is in the process of finalising the rules. This paper examines the probable impact of such changes on women workers, in the context of the declining female labour force participation rate in the last few decades. Labour laws need to be reframed in such a manner that they contain measures that facilitate greater female participation in the labour market. Broadly, the new codes have retained the provisions and added few, which may facilitate women’s participation. But there are areas of omission too, particularly in the informal sector, where the majority of women workers are employed. The analysis draws from feminist legal scholarship for a more nuanced understanding of the issue of legal protection beyond an economic rights perspective.

Plantation Workers and the OSHWC Code, 2020

Welfare provisions for plantation workers in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 are subject to how respective state governments frame rules and can have wide variations too. A basic standard template from the central government would have been better, preventing wide variations, as well as ensuring a basic threshold. Further, there is a need to recognise the use of technology in ensuring better occupational safety and health outcomes.

 

Social Security Code, 2020 and Rules

The Social Security Code, 2020 and the rules framed thereunder raise a number of issues regarding the working of the new legislation, which is the focus of the article. A major problem is the complex provisions that allow for dual authorities and overlapping of zones. Integration of the new code with the ongoing social security programmes and financing of new ones are other issues discussed.

 

Violence in Times of COVID-19 Lack of Legal Protection for Women Informal Workers

The present article is contextualised within the increasing cases of violence and harassment in the lives of women workers in the informal sector and deeply entrenched labour market discrimination in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The article tries to analyse the impact of the pandemic particularly on the women workers in the informal sector through an examination of existing legal protection measures, access to social security and the issue of violence and harassment.