ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Outside the Realm of Protective Labour Legislation: Saga of Unpaid Labour in India

Within the large, growing segment called the unorganised economy, the dominant category is that of the self-employed, within which a significant percentage of women work as "unpaid family workers". While women's work and women as workers suffer exclusion from protective legislation, this paper traces the trajectory of simultaneous exclusion and inclusion of women by going back to some of the seminal documents that were the outcomes of officially constituted commissions and committees. Through a critical reading of these documents, this paper revisits some of the arguments and recommendations of these bodies. It provides an overview of the dimensions of the problem of the low level and poor quality of employment in the country, with a specific emphasis on the categories that capture women's work. It engages with specific aspects of ineffectiveness of protective labour laws as far as women are concerned. It also reflects on the larger implications of the continued expansion in the numbers of, and time involved in, "unpaid labour", as well as the continued denial of worker status to women.

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