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

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Will COVID-19 Hamper Strides towards Gender Equality in Ireland?

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of global advances towards gender equality, thus foregrounding the inherent difficulty of achieving sustained progress within the constraints of a patriarchal system. In this paper, we explore this issue in greater depth, focusing on Ireland, widely heralded as a progressive and increasingly secular state, but one still steeped in patriarchal norms enshrined in the Constitution. Accounting for the influence of this foundational document, we examine women’s economic participation, including the impact of the pandemic response, and domestic violence. This paper argues that the pandemic response has reinforced Ireland’s patriarchal structure, stalling, and, in some cases, threatening progress towards gender equality.

COVID-19 and Women’s Labour Crisis: Reiterating an Inclusive Policy Response

The covid-19 pandemic in India has had an unequal impact on women in a number of ways. In terms of economic opportunity, it has been seen that more women lost jobs compared to men and fewer have been able to rejoin labour force. This is in the context of gendered labour markets where female labour force participation has been low and declining. This paper presents an analysis of the situation of women’s employment pre-lockdown and some indications on what the impact of Covid-19 could be, based on microstudies and other literature available. Further, the adequacy of the social protection and employment generation programmes of the government that are specifically aimed at improving female labour force participation is assessed.

The Continuing Saga of Women’s Work during COVID-19

This paper employs a social reproduction framework to argue that the two main institutions of capitalism—the markets and the state—have failed to adequately provide for the working people of India during the pandemic while fostering gender inequities. While the demand for gender equity in the domestic sphere and the workplace is not new, the pandemic further underscores its urgency.

Explicit Prejudice

A representative phone survey to study explicit prejudice against women and Dalits in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan reveals widespread prejudice in several domains and discusses the consequences for women and Dalits, and society as a whole. The results suggest the need for a more robust public discourse and active approach to measuring and challenging prejudice and discrimination.

Flexible Production, Feminisation and Disorganisation

The paper argues that central to the export success of the Tiruppur industry has been the feminisation and the demographic segmentation of the labour force brought about through the disorganisation and reorganisation of production structure and labour process. Young and married women workers constitute about half of the workforce in the industry, concentrated in the lower rungs of production organisation. A direct outcome of the process of feminisation has been its impact on labour relations of the industry, marked by the informalisation of the workers.

Liberalisation and the Woman Worker

Liberalisation and its after-effects has been a subject of great debate. While proponents point to the declining levels of poverty, opponents insist the opposite has happened - poverty has increased, employment opportunities and access to social services have declined. This article looks at the micro sector - the world of the unorganised woman worker and analyses the varied impact that liberalisation and globalisation has had on her working conditions. A decline in employment opportunities has seen a simultaneous 'casualisation' and growing 'feminisation' of the workforce - with concomitant ills of low wages and declining job security.

Enrolment, Dropout and Grade Completion of Girl Children in West Bengal

This paper studies the impact of household demand factors on the school participation and performance in four villages and two urban wards of West Bengal. The aim of the study was to assess the relative importance of these factors on the schooling choices made for girl children. The results indicated that some of the strongest enabling factors with regard to girls' school participation and grade attainment were household resource factors such as parental, especially maternal schooling, father's occupation, and family income. Urban residence, as expected, had a strong positive association, and significant cohort effects were observed with regard to the schooling outcomes. A girl child's labour force participation significantly reduced the demand for schooling, and the amount of schooling obtained. Religion and caste factors emerged as important determinants of schooling, as well.
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