Sanghamitra Kanjilal Bhaduri


The paper has presented an empirical picture of inequalities, both within and outside the labour market for women, from gender relations emerging within the framework of overlapping social stratification in rural India. Analysis is based on secondary data, where the emphasis is not only on measurement of quantitative variables, but also on the interactions between various qualitative, socio-economic and socio-cultural variables. Main finding of the present study is that the participation of women in labour force varies across economic classes, social groups, religions, regions and the rural urban divide. Factors determining labour supply decisions of women are different from those of men. Interconnectedness of female employment with other social parameters which are outside the realm of the standard labour market analysis gets highlighted in the study.


Gender Relation, Female Labour Force/Work Force Participation, Social Hierarchy.

Full Text:



Arber, S. and Jay Ginn. (1995), “Connecting Gender and Ageing: A Sociological Approach”, Open University Press.

Bardhan, K. (1985), “Women's Work, Welfare and Status: Forces of Tradition and Change in India”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 20, No. 50 (Dec. 14, 1985), pp. 2207-2220.

Bardhan, Pranab. K. (1979), “Labor Supply Functions in a Poor Agrarian Economy”, American Economic Review, Vol.69, No.1, pp 73-83.

Becker, Gary. S. (1971), “The Economics of Discrimination”, The University of Chicago Press (Second Edition), Chicago and London.

Becker, Gary. S. (1981), “A Treatise on the Family”, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Beneria, L. (1995), “Toward a greater integration of gender in economics”, World Development, Vol. 23, No. 11, November 1995, Pages 1839-1850.

Beneria, L. (1999), “The Enduring Debate over Unpaid Labour.” International Labour Review, Vol. 138, No. 3, pp 287-309.

Beneria, L and Gita Sen. (1981), “Accumulation, Reproduction, and ‘Women’s Role in Economic Development’: Boserup Revisited”, Chicago Journals, Signs, Vol. 7, No. 2, Development and the Sexual Division of Labor (Winter, 1981), pp. 279-298.

Chaudhary, R and Sher Verick. (2014), “Female labour force participation in India and beyond”, ILO Asia-Pacific Working Paper Series.

Crenshaw, Kimberle (1989). "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics". The University of Chicago Legal Forum, Vol. 140, pp 139–167.

Da Corta, L and Davuluri Venkateshwarlu. (1999), “Unfree relations and the feminisation of agricultural labour in Andhra Pradesh, 1970–95”, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 26, 1999, Issue 2-3, “Rural Labour Relations in India”.

Das, Maitreyee. B. (2006), “Do traditional axes of exclusion affect labour market outcomes in India?”, Social Development Papers, South Asia Series, No. 97, Washington DC, World Bank.

Das, Maitreyee. B. and Sonalde Desai. (2003), “Why are Educated Women Less Likely to be Employed in India? Testing Competing Hypotheses”, Social Protection Discussion Papers Series, No. 0313, Social Protection Unit, Human Development Network, The World Bank.

Das, S. et al (2015), “Women workers in India: Why so Few Among so Many?”, IMF Working Paper, WP/15/155, March 2015.

Desai, S. and Jain, D. (1994), “Maternal employment and changes in family dynamics: The social context of women's work in rural South India”, Population and Development Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 115–136.

Dev, Mahendra. S. (2000), “Economic Reforms, Poverty, Income Distribution and Employment”, Economic and Political Weekly Vol 35, No.10, (Mar 4-10,2000), pp 823-835.

Gaddis, I. and Stephan Klasen.(2012), “Economic Development , Structural Change and Women’ s Labor Force Participation : A Re ‐ Examination of the Feminization U Hypothesis”. University of Gottingen, Germany, www.unisg.ch/~/media/Internet/Content/Dateien/.../SEW/.../2012/Klasen_Paper.ashx

Garikipati, S. (2008), “Agricultural wage work, seasonal migration and the widening gender gap: evidence from a semi-arid region of Andhra Pradesh”, The European Journal of Development Research, Vol. 20, 2008, Issue 4: “India's Semi-Arid Rural Economy: Livelihoods, Seasonal Migration and Gender”

Ghose, Ajit. K. (2004), “The Employment Challenge in India”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 39, No.48, (Nov 27-Dec 3, 2004), pp 5106-5116.

Ghosh, J. (2009), “Never Done and Poorly Paid: Women’s Work in Globalising India”, Signs, Vol. 37, No. 1 (September 2011), pp. 247-251, The University of Chicago Press Journals.

Goldin, C. (1995), “The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History”, Working Paper No. 4707, NBAER, Cambridge, Mass.

Hakim, C. (1996), “Key Issues in Women’s Work: Female Heterogeneity and the Polarisation of Women’s Employment”, The Athlone Press Limited, London and Atlantic Highlands, NJ.

Hirway, I. (2002), “Employment and Unemployment Situation in 1990s: How Good Are NSS Data?”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 21 (May 25-31, 2002), pp. 2027-2036.

Holmes, M. (2008), “Gender and Everyday Life The New Sociology”, December, Rouletdge, https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=1134098324, pp-60.

ILO (2008), “Women, gender and the informal economy: An assessment of ILO research and suggested ways forward”, Working Paper ILO, March, 2008.

Irwin, S. (2005), “Reshaping Social Life”, Routledge, November 14, 2005, https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=1134301383, pp 70-71.

Jain, D. and Nirmala Banerjee. (1985) (eds). “Tyranny of the Household”, Delhi: Shakti Books.

Gujarati, D. N. (3rd Edition), “Basic Econometrics”, Chapter 16.

Jain, D. and Nirmala Banerjee. (1985) (eds). “Tyranny of the Household”, Delhi: Shakti Books.

Majumder, R. (2011), “Female Labour Supply in India: Proximate Determinants”, MPRA Paper No.43250, September.

Mammen, K. and Christina Paxson.(2000), “Women’s Work and Economic Development”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp 141-164.

Masood, T. and Ahmad. Mohd. Izhar. (2009), “An Econometric analysis of Inter-State Variations in Women’s Labour Force Participation in India”, mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de.

McBride, A. et al (2014), “Intersectionality: are we taking enough notice in the field of work and employment relations?”, Work Employment & Society, September 8, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0950017014538337

Mehrotra, S. et al. (2012), “Creating Employment in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan”, Economic and Political Weekly, May 12, 2012, VOL XLVII No. 19.

Neetha, N. (2013), “Inequalities Reinforced? Social Groups, Gender And Employment”, Occasional Paper No.59, January 2013, Centre For Women’s Development Studies.

Neff, D et al. (2012), “The Puzzling Decline in Rural Women’s Labor Force Participation in India: A Reexamination”, GIGA Working Papers, No. 196, May 2012.

NSSO. 2011-12. Employment and Unemployment Situation in India, 68th Round, Report No.554. Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, Government of India.

Pastore, F and Simona. Tenaglia. (2013), “Ora et non Labora? A Test of the Impact of Religion on Female Labor Supply”, IZA DP No. 7356, April 2013.

Rangarajan, C. et al. (2014), “Developments in the Workforce between 2009-10 and 2011-12”, Economic and Political Weekly June 7, 2014, Vol XLIX, No.23.

Roemer, J. E. (1982), “A General Theory of Exploitation and Class”, Harvard University Press, https://books.google.pt/books?isbn=0674344405.

Rubery, J, et al. (1999). “Women’s Employment in Europe:Trends and prospects”. London and New York: Routledge.

Sen, G and Chiranjib Sen. (1985), “Women’s Domestic Work and Economic Activity: Results from the National Sample Survey”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 20, No. 17.

Sethuraman, S.V. (1998), “Gender, informality and poverty: A global review”, ILO Working Paper, (Geneva, ILO).

Shaw, A. (2013), “Employment Trends in India-An Overview of NSSO’s 68th Round”, Economic and Political Weekly October 19, 2013, Vol XLVIII, No.42.

Srivastava, N and Srivastava, R (2010), “Women, Work and Employment Outcomes in Rural India”, Economic and Political Weekly July 10, 2010, Vol XLV No. 28.

Thomas, J.J. (2012), “India’s labour market during the 2000s: Surveying the changes”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 47, No. 51, pp. 39-51.

World Development Report, (2012), “Gender Equality and Development”

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26458/1727


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Sanghamitra Kanjilal Bhaduri

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




To crown and encourage research efforts of the authors, at the end of a year of publishing our journal board will award online the best papers by distinctions:

1. Best Original Paper Award -  for the paper that has brought something completely new in the reader's attention (a new concept, a new trend, a new proposal in research, etc.)

2. Excellence Award - for the most cited paper and visualized in the online environment during the year

3. First, Second and Third Award- for the best documented and substantiated papers during the year

4. Special Award - to award PhD students and postdocs for the most well documented and substantiated paper

Administred:Rocsana B. Manea Tonis