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Work Participation of Rural Women in Third World-Some Data and Conceptual Biases

Some Data and Conceptual Biases Bina Agarwal There continues to be little appreciation that problems of unemployment, poverty and destitution are in many instances gender-specific so that any serious attempt to alleviate these conditions and/or prevent their further aggravation would require a particular focus on the women of poor households. The accuracy of national level statistics, which usually serve as the principal data input in the framing of development policies, is severely impaired by biases which lead to an undercounting of women, both as workers and as those available for work. This paper seeks to spell out the nature and sources of these data biases and attempts to provide pointers on how they could be corrected and some of the data gaps filled.

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