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

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The Devaluation of Women’s Work

State without Honour

State without Honour: Women Workers in India’s Anganwadis by M S Sreerekha,Oxford University Press, 2016; pp 348,950.

The many problems of anganwadi workers in India remain unrecognised and unaddressed at the political level. The September 2017 strike by over 2,500 workers in Maharashtra demanding higher pay and improvements in the quality of food provided from anganwadis has highlighted these problems again. Over the last few months, there have been similar strikes with similar demands in different states of India, including Bihar, Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (UP), and Odisha. M S Sreerekha’s State without Honour: Women Workers in India’s Anganwadis is a timely volume on the key players—the anganwadi workers—who run the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, shedding light on the status of women workers in state-sponsored social welfare schemes in India and raising a voice against their further marginalisation and exploitation.

State without Honour explores the political economy of women’s work in India and its relationship with the Indian state. More and more women, particularly from the lower social strata, are being employed in new social welfare schemes where the form of work is defined as “voluntary social service.” Is this, the author asks, the state’s strategy to keep these workers invisible?

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Updated On : 27th Dec, 2017

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