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Women Workers and Perceptions of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which entitles rural households to 100 days of casual employment on public works at the statutory minimum wage, contains special provisions to ensure full participation of women. This paper, based on fieldwork in six states in 2008, examines the socio-economic consequences of the nrega for women workers. In spite of the drawbacks in the implementation of the legislation, significant benefits have already started accruing to women through better access to local employment, at minimum wages, with relatively decent and safe work conditions. The paper also discusses barriers to women's participation.

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Women Workers and Perceptions of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

Reetika Khera, Nandini Nayak

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which entitles rural households to 100 days of casual employment on public works at the statutory minimum wage, contains special provisions to ensure full participation of women. This paper, based on fieldwork in six states in 2008, examines the socio-economic consequences of the NREGA for women workers. In spite of the drawbacks in the implementation of the legislation, significant benefits have already started accruing to women through better access to local employment, at minimum wages, with relatively decent and safe work conditions. The paper also discusses barriers to women’s participation.

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