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

Articles By Gender

The Role of Gender and Caste in Accessing Livelihood Opportunities in India

Against the backdrop of low and declining female labour force participation in India, we use a large, publicly available tehsil-level data set for several Indian states to comment on women’s barriers to accessing livelihood opportunities. Data from the socio-economic caste census seems to indicate that as the proportion of lower-caste households in a tehsil increases, the participation of female heads of households in economic activities, which improve labour force participation at the bottom of the pyramid, also increases. This is significant given the largely informal labour force and inadequate job creation in the formal economy. Lower-caste women may readily pursue informal livelihoods suggesting barriers for upper-caste women, crucial amid limited formal job opportunities in an economy dominated by informality.