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

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Work Conditions and Employment for Women in Slums

A Case Study of Bhuj City, Kutch

Women residing in slums and slum-like settlements of Bhuj are majorly employed in traditional activities such as bandhani, embroidery, fall beading, etc, and only to a much lesser extent in emerging opportunities, including non-farm casual labour and jobs in the private and public sectors. Women’s preference is overwhelmingly tilted towards the former employment opportunities as compared to the latter, due to flexibility of work and possibility of working from home, given certain sociocultural constraints and poor working conditions in other sectors. Moreover, limited access to capital for women’s own enterprises ensures that the chances for expansion and formalisation of their small enterprises are minimal.

The authors would like to thank all staff members of the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan and Sakhi Sangini for data collection, as also Shouryamoy Das for data collection and coordination. They would like to especially acknowledge Alka Jani of KMVS for funding and providing support for the study. Last but not the least, they would like to thank the anonymous referee for comments and suggestions.

Workers and entrepreneurs not recognised or protected under legal or regulatory frameworks, and characterised by high degree of vulnerability are considered as informal (ILO 2002). The International Labour Organization looks at the informal economy as one characterised by “decent work deficit.”

Poor-quality, unproductive and unremunerative jobs that are not recognised or protected by law, the absence of rights at work, inadequate social protection, and the lack of representation and voice are most pronounced in the informal economy, especially at the bottom end among women and young workers. (ILO 2002: 4)

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Updated On : 24th May, 2019
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