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

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Women, Work, and Employment Outcomes in Rural India

Large-scale surveys show that while rural women's employment has grown over the decades, women are still largely self-employed or employed as casual labour in agriculture. They face various forms of discrimination, including job-typing that pushes them into low-paying jobs. Higher work participation per se does not lead to better outcomes unless accompanied by higher education, and/or assets. Education may not positively influence a woman's participation in work, but for women who are in the workforce, education is the most important determinant of better quality non-agricultural work. Women's autonomy, measured in terms of control over land, mobility, and a willingness to join self-help groups, enables them to move into non-agricultural jobs. The paper argues for policy interventions to increase work opportunities and enhance wages for rural women workers.

SPECIAL ARTICLE

Women, Work, and Employment Outcomes in Rural India

Nisha Srivastava, Ravi Srivastava

Large-scale surveys show that while rural women’s employment has grown over the decades, women are still largely self-employed or employed as casual labour in agriculture. They face various forms of discrimination, including job-typing that pushes them into low-paying jobs. Higher work participation per se does not lead to better outcomes unless accompanied by higher education, and/or assets. Education may not positively influence a woman’s participation in work, but for women who are in the workforce, education is the most important determinant of better quality non-agricultural work. Women’s autonomy, measured in terms of control over land, mobility, and a willingness to join self-help groups, enables them to move into non-agricultural jobs. The paper argues for policy interventions to increase work opportunities and enhance wages for rural women workers.

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