Questioning Women's Visibility and Gendered Work in Meghalaya
(Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Paper short abstract:
Inequality comparisons based only on labour market overlook how women spend much more time outside the market than men. This paper studies the gendered nature of women's work and implications on their visibility in workforce using time use survey based on a study conducted in Meghalaya, India.
Paper long abstract:
Women in India are seen burdened with triple responsibilities of breadwinning, domestic chores, and child (and elderly) care. Inequality comparisons based only on the market economy, such as comparisons of job and occupational segregation indices based on gender tend to overlook the fact that women spend much more time outside the market than men. This paper will study the gendered nature of women's work and the resultant implications on their visibility, (or lack thereof) in the workforce employing time use survey. The persistent gender gaps in visible labour force and workforce cannot be analysed comprehensively without taking into account the unequal sharing of household work and care-giving responsibilities mostly single-handedly borne by women owing to the diktats of gender norms. Gender inequalities in intra-household division of labour is the elephant in the room in the analyses of labour market outcomes. This tends to restrict their participation, mobility, and choice of employment, leading to women's overcrowding in low-productivity/low-wage jobs and their overall inferior status in the paid labour market. Thus, the level and nature of women's participation in the paid labour market cannot be understood well without examining the constraints posed by their unpaid work burden. This paper is based on a study conducted in Meghalaya, a North Eastern state of India, which displays greater participation of women in the workforce which is distinctly ahead of the national average.
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