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

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Women's Economic Opportunities in Nepal

Labour Market Development and Poverty: With Focus on Opportunities for Women in Nepal by Meena Acharya; Tauka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation and Friedrich-EbertShiftung, Kathmandu, 2000; pp 143, Rs 250.

Nepal, sandwiched between two Asian giants, India and China, gets little attention in the global context. Consequently, studies focusing on Nepal’s economy, in particular its labour market, are rare. This book is an interesting attempt to analyse developments in the Nepalese labour market in the context of macro policies. Women’s access to the new and emerging economic opportunities is the main focus of the analysis.

The book consists of eight chapters. The author provides an interesting review of the literature on poverty and labour markets as developed in the various schools of economic thought in the first chapter. Most of the early literature did not take into consideration the sexual division of labour. Current theories which incorporate labour market heterogeneity, and women’s participation and its consequence for employment are discussed. The author presents her own analytical framework as a series of eight propositions regarding women’s employment. For example, recent economic policies have increased employment opportunities for women. Women’s employment conditions are related to ethnicity/caste, migration patterns, access to credit, etc. The analysis is primarily based on two data sources: the Multipurpose Household Budget Survey (MPHBS), 1984-85 and the National Living Standards Survey (NLSS), 1995-96. The author assumes comparability between them.

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