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

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Gender and Industrialisation

Forms of Production and Women's Labour: Gender Aspects of Industrialisation in India and Mexico by Isa Baud; Sage Publications,
ISA BAUD'S book deals with an interesting and under-researched problem, that of differences in the forms of employment of women in different types of production units. Baud's study examines differences in the extent of employment of women workers and in the tasks performed by women in different types of production units, ranging from small-scale artisan production in homes to large-scale factories. The study also examines what she calls the "marginalisation hypothesis", that is, whether, in the course of industrialisation, women are pushed into relatively small-scale, low-tech units of production and whether their share in total employment declines, MacEwan Scott defines 'marginalisation' as "women's confinement to the home, to inferior jobs, and to the reserve army of labour" (cited on page 31). To identify Marginalisation', Baud examines several characteristics of women's employment in relation to that of men's employment such as number of jobs available, wages, skill requirements, labour turnover and the type of organisation amomg workers. The book is based on case studies of the textile industry in Coimbatore, the shrimp industry in India and the shoe industry in Mexico. India and Mexico make for an interesting comparison. Both countries are large in extent and in terms of population, and are characterised by diversity of forms of industrial production; on the other hand, the industrial sector makes a significantly larger contribution to national income and employment in Mexico than in India.

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