DSA2018: Global inequalities
This panel explores the social, economic and cultural basis of differences in the work experience of women. South Asian women's labour supply may be declining in some industries: how is this differentiated? How do economic inequality and ethnic divisions affect women's time-use?
In recent years, parts of South Asia have seen a reduction in women's labour supply in some substreams of economic activity. Women withdrawing to focus on parenting and domestic work implies a loss of the potential gains from these women's educational investments prior to having children. Men rarely withdraw unless they have a chronic illness. This panel explores the social, economic, political and cultural basis of differences in the work experience of women. Specifically we look at inequality among the women, global inequality in women's economic activity, and the definitions of inequality that could be used in specifying how women's work patterns differ by social class and by ethnic or cultural divisions. Specific issues that papers may take up (all considering gender as relations not as the separation of women's issues from other issues) are: 1 time-use of women, and inequality in its reporting and the reward to women's work. 2 informal work of women under economic and social inequality 3. Case studies and qualitative approaches to inequality of women both in formal-sector and informal-sector work. Thus, taking a transdisciplinary approach, the papers offer coverage of concrete, theoretical, and policy issues around global inequalities in women's work.
Paper Pre-Submission of full papers one month prior to conference, ie 28 May 2018.
The panel submissions will lead to a proposal for a journal special issue. Those received after 28 May could still be considered, but those received in time get high priority.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Empowerment or Depletion - what determines outcomes of women's work?
This paper will present time use data to examine interactions between paid work and unpaid care work. It will show that these interactions and the quality of both paid and unpaid work are critical factors in shaping women's outcomes from this work to be either empowering or depleting.
Recent mixed methods research from four countries (India, Nepal, Tanzania and Rwanda) highlights severe inequalities that women face because of the double burden they experience - doing paid work alongside their unpaid work and caring responsibilities. Empowerment programmes focus on increasing labour force participation of women as a key strategy. However, our research shows that without taking into account both unpaid care work and the drudgery involved in paid and unpaid work, this strategy risks increasing the depletion that women and their families face, rather than empowering them. This paper presents time use data from the four countries, to show a) the interactions between paid work and unpaid care work; and b) the extent of multi-tasking that women undertake in their time. Qualitative case studies are also examined to outline the effects of time use patterns of women on women themselves, and on their children and families. The overwhelming conclusion is that of depletion of women's bodies and minds, which is a result of them having no time to rest in between caring for others, undertaking hard, backbreaking and drudgerous work, and carrying out essential tasks of water and fuel collection. These, the paper argues, are critical factors in shaping women's experiences and outcomes of work as being either empowering, or depleting for themselves and their families.
Household budgeting models and women's employment amoung South Asians
This paper seeks to present a typology of household budgeting in context of transnational finance, ethnicity and social class. Based on 90 in-depth interviews with South Asian women, it will explore the role of women's employment and independent income in establishing these budgeting typologies.
The relationship between women's employment and financial power is complex and mediated through a range of household and institutional factors. The scholarship indicates both positive and negative correlation while some remain agnostic. Using an intersectionality approach and based on 90 in-depth interviews with South Asian women in Britain, India and Pakistan, this paper adds to this debate by examining various models of household budgeting in the context of women's independent income through a range of occupational categories: professional, semi-skilled; manual and homemakers. Building on Pahl's household financial organisation models, the paper seeks to present a typology of budgeting in the context of transnational finances, ethnicity and social class. Using detailed, contextualized data, the paper will explore the role of women's employment and independent income in establishing these budgeting typologies.
Time-use, marital negotiations and tensions about work: comparing rural India and Bangladesh
The time-use and work experience of women in rural Bangladesh and In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand are differentiated by social class. Their labour supply is officially declining, but their reality is highly diverse. We examine how social class and ethnicity are associated women's time-use.
In rural north central India and Bangladesh, the prevalent rural pattern is that when woman get married, they are said to "withdraw" from the labour market. We have data on both adult women's time use and their husbands' activities. We specifically address how their time-use contradicts commonly used measures of economic participation. They work much more than would be recorded using standard measures. Time-use data show most of the women working considerable amounts of time on farms, fisheries, and with livestock. Thus it was ideological and a masking strategy for people to describe the women as 'not in the labour force' and as housewives.
A second problem is the existence of a command/submit pattern of discourse within these rural marriages. Men are said to dictate to women what to do; yet in reality, many of the rural women and men in this zone often negotiate about work duties.
Our empirical study covered 24 villages with 86 semi-structured interviews and 1800 questionnaires. Women's work is more nuanced and wide ranging than can be discovered using official methods. In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, the respect of neighbours was lost for many poor working women. For some, others holding a negative opinion of them was a source of bitter emotions.
Questioning Women's Visibility and Gendered Work in Meghalaya
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.
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.
Tackling social norms: Jordanian women and non-traditional work
This research looks at the various work experiences of women across socioeconomic classes in Amman, Jordan. By focusing on non-traditional work, the extent to which social norms are challenged is explored.
Protective provisions in the Jordanian labour law enact special working conditions for women. Such restrictions mandate suitable sectors and working hours which relegate the agency of women in choosing their careers. These laws are reflective of social norms that believe women to be more vulnerable and neglect that men too require protective provisions. Similarly, social norms influence occupational segregation and mandate suitable sectors and working hours for women. As such, women who transcend these boundaries by working in non-traditional fields contest social norms. This research looks at how women navigate their motives and careers in non-traditional work with regards to norms. Forty-two women from various occupations, socioeconomic classes and formal and informal sectors in Amman, Jordan were interviewed. Vignettes were presented to encourage discussion on topics of job choice, norms about women in the workplace and work experience. The interviews revealed that through daily interactions women negotiate with families, male colleagues and institutionalised norms to change perceptions about suitable sectors and work hours. The extent that the women navigated their careers around structural factors differed by class, occupation and sector. Where some women found niches in their area of work and created enclaves that complied with social norms, other women chose to further engage in non-traditional work and directly challenged social norms by entering construction worksites, working in male dominated workplaces and taking on night shifts.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.