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GRC workshop

The Ministry of Rural Development and IWWAGE jointly organized a two-day
Consultative Workshop on Gender Resource Centre

The Ministry of Rural Development and IWWAGE jointly organized a two-day Consultative Workshop on Gender Resource Centre in New Delhi on 27th and 28th July 2023. In his keynote address, Shri Charanjit Singh Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development mentioned that since 2016, DAY NRLM has targeted intervention for mainstreaming gender within the program with the goal to strengthen the voice, choice and agency of women. To respond to the issues of gender specific entitlements and rights, a need was felt for establishing a structure like Gender Resource Centre to find resolution for a varied range of complex cases that demand inter linkages with other departments.

Setting the context for the workshop, Smt. Smriti Sharan, Joint Secretary, shared that the DAY-NRLM has initiated a silent revolution in the country and that its transformative approach is premised on the principles of creating women led and women owned institutions. She shared the two basic principles of the DAY-NRLM program are social empowerment and economic empowerment of the rural poor women. Joint Secretary further stated that the establishment of GRC has been a landmark achievement for the program reaffirming DAY-NRLMs commitment to the mandate of women empowerment. Ms. Sharon Buteau, Executive Director of LEAD at Krea University underscored the importance of evidence generation in identifying key elements for interventions.

 

 

A total of 75 participants from 15 states along with CSO partners and gender experts participated in the workshop. The deliberations in the workshop highlighted the major components for strengthening Gender Resource Centre through a participatory group work. The enriching experiences from the participating State viz. Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Nagaland, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tripura re-emphasizes the efforts that are required for strengthening the Gender Resource Centre in the country.

 

The closing remarks by Joint Secretary, Smt Smriti Sharan, laid out that the discussions have helped us reflect on the present scope of the GRC and ambit of work that lay in front of us. She also added that if GRCs are envisioned as the apex body of the community institutions at the Block level, then its role should also be of higher order. She also laid emphasis on the fact that it is much larger than just addressing cases- it is about combatting gender inequality through a holistic approach.

 

Fourth Gender Samvaad

Fourth Gender Samvaad was co-organized by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission ((DAY-NRLM) and Institute for What Works to Advance Gender Equality (IWWAGE) –September 22, 2023

The fourth Gender Samvaad was co-organized by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Developmen and Institute for What Works to Advance Gender Equality (IWWAGE) on September 22nd 2023. The virtual event brought together over 8000 participants, including senior officials MoRD, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of Bihar and state government officials, practitioners, gender experts, academia, civil society actors, and members of self-help groups.
Gender Samvaad, is a unique, joint attempt between DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE to establish a shared platform to generate awareness on DAY-NRLM’s gender interventions across the country, with a focus on hearing voices from the states and of SHG members.
In his keynote address, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Shri Charanjit Singh expressed concerns over the statistics on gender based violence and emphasised on the role that community based institutions can play in addressing this issue. He also stressed on inter-ministerial convergence to address Gender Based Violence, especially with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Education for awareness generation and sensitisation.

Joint Secretary, DAY-NRLM, Smt. Smriti Sharan highlighted the extensive efforts undertaken by DAY-NRLM in empowering women and creating model institutions to address women’s issues in rural areas particularly through the platform of Gender Resource Centre.
Community resource persons (CRP) from various states including Jharkhand, Kerala and Odisha were invited to share their experience of institutional strategies adopted to address gender based violence. Smt Rajani Dandasena from Odisha shared the experience of the functioning of the Prerna Kendra (Gender Resource centres) at Gram Panchayat level. The Prerna Kendras have established strong linkages with other departments through Gender Forum and have been able to address cases of Violence. The Gender Campaign launched in November 2022 has also led to widespread awareness on GBV and demanding public action through the institutions of the women. Women shared experiences of addressing issues like witch hunting, drug abuse, sexual violence, etc.
Smt. Mahua Roy Chaudhary from Jeevika, Government of Bihar highlighted the importance of gender training, learning pedagogies and use of IEC materials leading to creation of gender responsive institutions particularly Didi Adhikar kendras for addressing violence that is deep rooted in patriarchy and social norms. She also emphasized the political empowerment of women as ward members and mukhiyas in the state. She emphasized the importance of sustainability of these institutions in continuing delivering women’ s empowerment.

A panel discussion followed which included Joint Secretary from Ministry of Women and Child Development, Gender Expert and Women’s rights lawyer to emphasise the importance of  SRLM and system related opportunities like legal  remedies including fast track courts, horizontal and vertical gender training across different stakeholders and  inter-ministerial convergence adopting multi-pronged strategies to address GBV.   The panel discussed innovative financing for sustainability, safe spaces for women like Shakti Sadan and short stay homes, strengthening data driven governance and economic agency of women. The conversation laid out the scope of convergence between Naari Adalats under Mission Shakti with Gender Resource Centres under DAY-NRLM.  The Samvaad 2023 ended with the need to come together to address the core issues of women through focus on preventive measures, convergence and innovative and local approaches of problem solving.

IAWS-IWWAGE_Panel on Care Workers

Institute for What Works to Advance Gender Equality (IWWAGE) and Indian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS) panel on Strengthening the Voices of Care Workers in India

 

 

On 7th September, 2023, Institute for What Works to Advance Gender Equality (IWWAGE) collaborated with the prestigious Indian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS) as a part of their 17th National Conference held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (7th – 10th September 2023). The crucial panel discussion was held on one of the emerging issues of women workers in the insidious and rarely recognised sector of the economy – the care sector. The panel aimed to discuss mechanisms to strengthen the voices of such workers and aims at contributing to policies for their welfare.

The session was chaired and moderated by Ritu Dewan (Vice President, Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE)). The panel was introduced by Bidisha Mondal (Research Fellow, IWWAGE-LEAD at Krea University), where the panellists were Dipa Sinha (Assistant Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi), Sonia George (General Secretary, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Kerala), Kiran Moghe (Member, All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA)) and AR Sindhu (General Secretary, All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH)). The concluding remarks were given by Ishita Mukhopadhyay (President, IAWS).

The discussion centred on the growing significance of care work and care workers, particularly in rural India, where they form the largest group of frontline workers employed by the State. With a diverse range of care workers in the country, spanning from unpaid to underpaid, working for the public and private sectors, households, or even within their own families, the panellists highlighted the pressing challenges these workers still face today. Women, particularly those serving as frontline workers such as Aanganwadi workers, ASHA workers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), mid-day meal workers etc., play a vital role in providing essential services to rural communities. Despite their substantial contributions to various human development outcomes and being responsible for the generation of 25-30% of India’s GDP (sic), the State does not officially recognize them as ’employees’; instead, they are often referred to as ‘scheme’, ‘voluntary’, or ‘honorary’ workers. They dedicate approximately 4 to 6 hours a day to their responsibilities, leaving them with little time to pursue other forms of employment. This lack of recognition is compounded by meagre compensation, which falls below the minimum wage and underscores the undervaluing of their work. In the country, only 14 states have officially established minimum wage rates for domestic and care workers, and even these are significantly below what is considered adequate. Unfortunately, in practice, it is found that the wages that workers receive are even lower than these officially notified rates. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that this issue extends beyond the rights of care workers. It also encompasses the rights of those receiving care – who have a right to receive high-quality, respectful, and dignified care. Overworked and underappreciated care workers may not be able to offer the level of attention, compassion, and expertise required. This work is not only valuable, but often requires a high level of skill – including empathy, communication, problem-solving, and often medical or technical expertise depending on the context. It requires emotional labor, as well as physical and intellectual effort. Failing to recognize this skill can lead to a lack of job satisfaction and motivation to work, which ultimately impacts the quality of care. Therefore, this work must not only be recognized but also compensated appropriately.

These honorary survival wages are provided without the benefit of any accompanying social security policies. Despite being the cornerstone of the rural economy, care workers are not even entitled to the care they themselves provide. In essence, the quality of care provided by care workers is then directly impacted by the conditions in which they operate. The highlighted challenges are not solely about their wages, but also about the overall working environment — including access to essential facilities like toilets during their shifts, and the implementation of social security measures. Additionally, provisions for maternity entitlements for the care workers who provide such benefits themselves are crucial. Without these fundamental rights and support systems, the standard of care delivered may not meet its full potential. 

 

In the urban landscape, domestic workers entrusted with the care and upkeep of households and their occupants are also facing a profound transformation in their paradigm of employment. This shift is underscored by several significant trends. Firstly, there is a notable surge in mechanization, altering the traditional landscape of household tasks. Concurrently, a rise in unemployment among employers of care workers is observed, marking a consequential shift in the employment dynamic. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this evolution, ushering in substantial lifestyle changes. These shifts encompassed a notable shift in habits and attitudes, and have also unveiled persistent discriminatory practices that continue to plague this workforce. Additionally, the outsourcing trend of the emergence of gig economy workers through apps has not only altered the employment structure but has also introduced new dynamics to the sector, emphasizing the need for adaptability and resiliency within this workforce.

However, one noteworthy achievement highlighted during the discussion was the expansion of schemes offering opportunities for workers, particularly women, to form unions, even if they are not in formal employment. Over the past decade, there has been a remarkable surge in union activities nationwide, leading to numerous successful endeavours in the fight for fundamental labour rights.

As the global conversation shifts from centring on care workers to prioritizing support for individuals in need of care, the struggles faced by care workers are often marginalized or overlooked. The panel identified this change in the narrative to highlight the importance of re-evaluating the recognition and support provided to care workers. The panel emphasized the importance of discussing welfare measures when considering wages and time dedicated to care work within the framework of social protection. The transition from a welfare-centric approach to one centered around establishing minimum wages should be a pivotal focus for domestic and care workers, and the subsequent policy recommendations. One pertinent question to address is whether there is adequate representation of domestic and care workers on these minimum wage committees. This aspect bears significant weight in ensuring fair and just compensation for the invaluable contributions of these workers.

The panel emphasised the efforts that must be made to recognize the home as a legitimate workplace, especially in contexts where care work is predominantly carried out. They pointed out the current oversight in acknowledging domestic settings as official work environments and stressed that this recognition requires active engagement with pertinent stakeholders, especially labour ministry and departments, to highlight the significance of this matter. They also emphasized the importance of collaborating with statistical agencies to establish robust mechanisms for integrating care work into official labour statistics. This would involve creating specific categories or classifications customized to accurately depict the contributions of care workers. They suggested the necessity for a proactive approach in initiating productive dialogues with stakeholders, ultimately leading to the establishment of comprehensive guidelines and protocols for data collection and reporting specifically tailored to care work. The panel concluded that by diligently pursuing these actionable points, significant progress can be achieved in rectifying the current oversight and ensuring that the invaluable contributions of care workers receive the recognition and appreciation they rightfully deserve.

 

An extensive question-and-answer session ensued after the panel discussion. Where the discussion brought various crucial points to the fore, concerning: old age care, instances of sexual harassment faced by domestic workers within households, the impact of invasive technologies on care workers, as well as instances of discrimination experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These discussions provided an invaluable opportunity for further discourse and action on these pressing issues.

This note has been prepared by Prakriti Sharma, Senior Research Associate, IWWAGE-LEAD at Krea University.

Engendering Early Childhood Development in India

Introduction

Over the past decade, there has been a growing global focus on early childhood development. Quality childcare can provide children with lifelong health, education, and social development benefits. Women have traditionally been responsible for childcare, with little help managing it alongside their work, paid or unpaid. The responsibility of unpaid care work disproportionately impacts women’s access to education, employment, leisure, health, and well-being. It also reduces the availability of opportunities for remunerative employment.  Women are frequently compelled to work in informal, unstable environments or quit entirely due to caregiving responsibilities. This unequal burden impacts women from all walks of life but disproportionately affects impoverished and underprivileged women. Policymakers in India need to address the unpaid care work women are obligated to perform. Establishing childcare centres, or creches, is a crucial policy tool for achieving this objective. This blog will look at state-sponsored creche policies and programmes and assess how well they work to help women find and retain jobs. 

In India, care policies and legislation have long been influenced by the concept of “Gendered Familialism,” which places the responsibility of care work on women based on familial relationships (Neeta and Palriwala, 2011). Unfortunately, this strategy limits the pool of potential carers and care recipients, fails to acknowledge care as a shared public responsibility, and does not take into account the fact that women frequently require assistance managing both their paid work and care obligations, particularly with regard to childcare. Over the years, many legislative and policy initiatives have sought to address this mindset by attempting to redistribute care provision to employers and the government. These include early statutory provision of childcare in the formal sector, crèches provided at worksite in the informal sector under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the universalization of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and the PALNA scheme, which mandates making crèches accessible for both employed and unemployed mothers (Chigateri, 2017). Although these government programmes and legal frameworks have touched on the need for childcare benefits to increase women’s labour force participation by providing daycare centres and maternity benefits, the execution of such mandates can be improved.

Tracing the History of Child Care Services 

Childcare services have been recommended for working women in many government and non – government policy documents (Chigateri, 2017).  For working mothers, ‘crèches, nurseries, and labor-saving devices’ were recommended in the 1974 report “Towards Equality” by the Committee on the Status of Women.  The “Shramshakti” report from 1988 was another significant report, which acknowledged the right of working women to have access to child care. It also suggested childcare facilities for women working in the informal sector. Childcare services for women in both the formal and informal sectors were also advised in other policy documents.  The 1988 National Perspective Plan for Women suggested that laws requiring companies to provide crèches for a certain percentage of female employees be changed to gender-neutral policies. Additionally, the 2001 National Policy for the Empowerment of Women recommended that childcare facilities be available in workplaces, educational institutions, and residences for the elderly and disabled.

Despite the strong emphasis on centre-based childcare services in several policy documents, progress towards implementing these recommendations has been slow in reality. Most legislation on the subject has only applied to women employed in the organized sector, leaving out a significant portion of the female workforce. Legislations such as the Factories Act 1948, Plantation Labour Act 1951, Mines Act 1952, Beedi and Cigar Workers’ Act 1966, Contract Labour Act 1970, Inter-state Migrant Workers Act 1980, and Building and Construction Workers Act 1996 mandate crèche facilities in the organized sector and workplaces with a relatively large number of women employees. Efforts to expand childcare options for women workers have been made in both organized and unorganized sectors through the Maternity Benefits Act (2017) and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2008). The Maternity Benefits Act 1961, amended in March 2017, presents a mixed picture of state involvement in childcare provision (Chigateri, 2017)[1]. Although the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act extends the duration of wage replacement during maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks, it also mandates establishments with 50 or more employees to provide creche facilities within a prescribed distance. The high threshold and the exclusion of women workers outside the organised sector drew criticism from women’s organisations.

In the Draft Rules on Social Security Code (SSC), which the Ministry of Labour and Employment published in November 2020, the condition of more than fifty employees in the Maternity Benefit Act (Amended), 2017, was changed to an eligibility condition of fifty “women employees.”, disregarding the needs of young children of all employees, both men and women workers (Mishra and Sachdeva, 2021)[2].

MGNREGA is the only act in the country that gives legislative support for childcare provisioning in the unorganized sector, recognizing both the work-related rights of women and their right to provide adequate nutrition and care for their infants. However, creches under MGNREGA have performed unsatisfactorily.

Another modality through which childcare provision was introduced in India was the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), launched by the Government of India in the 1970s. The programme was designed to promote early childhood development (ECD) in children under the age of six. It was the first government initiative to address young children’s nutritional, health, and early learning needs while also enhancing mothers’ capacity to meet those needs (Mishra and Sachdeva, 2021)  [3]. The program focused on six comprehensive services: supplementary nutrition and growth monitoring, immunization, health check-ups, health and nutrition education, referral services, and non-formal pre-school education. This program was to be coordinated through Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) by Anganwadi workers and helpers. Over time, the program expanded to cover all blocks in the country.  Children under the age of six now have a universal right to these services due to the Supreme Court’s order for the quality universalization of the ICDS. The ICDS has played a significant role in tackling malnutrition amongst children and mothers in the country. However, implementation of the programme has largely been reliant on mothers of children, perpetuating the notion that childcare is solely their responsibility and creating difficulties for employed women accessing services.

Furthermore, the pick-up and drop timings of AWCs frequently conflict with the mothers’ employment hours, necessitating the need for dependable childcare services. Also, the AWCs are only open for four hours, which is unhelpful for working women who put in much longer hours. In 2012, the Restructured ICDS document did recommend the conversion of 5 percent of AWCs in the country to Anganwadi-cum-crèches (AWCCs) but this has only been implemented in a limited number of AWCs.

The Scheme of Assistance Crèches for Working/Ailing Mothers was another way the government introduced childcare services for women. It was initiated in 1974 to offer creche services to the young children of female labourers living below the poverty line. The Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Scheme (RGNCS) for Children of Working Mothers was created in 2006 as a merger of two previous crèche schemes: the aforementioned scheme and the National Crèche Fund Scheme established in 1995. The government runs the scheme in partnership with private sector and non-government organizations to target remote and underprivileged areas. It was later renamed the National Creche Scheme (NCS). Though important, this scheme restricted Creche facilities’ provision to working or ailing mothers.

Status of current schemes

As part of the recently approved Mission Shakti, the National Creche Scheme has been updated and renamed as Palna Scheme to provide creche services for children (6 months to 6 years old) of working mothers as well as to enhance the nutritional and physical well-being of kids.  The scheme will offer working women’s children a safe and secure environment for their nutritional, physical, and cognitive development and inspire women to pursue their career opportunities.  The Scheme provides Creche facilities for children of all women, whether employed or not. This denotes a progressive shift in the government’s perspective. This programme addresses the urgent need for high-quality childcare facilities. During the 15th Finance Commission, the government intends to establish an additional 17,000 Anganwadi cum creches under Palna.  Despite its carefully considered formulation, the secret to its success will be in how well it is put into practice.  The programme’s effectiveness will be ensured by increasing the network of childcare facilities and allocating sufficient financial resources in that direction. It is critical that the planning, designing, execution and monitoring of these schemes and programmes actively adopt gender intentionality in their approach to ensure that care work ceases to pose a challenge to women’s social and economic well-being.

Author: This blog is authored by Divya Singh, Research Manager at IWWAGE

[1] Palriwala, R. and Neetha, N., 2011. Stratified familialism: the care regime in India through the lens of childcare. Development and Change, 42(4), pp.1049-1078.

[2] Chigateri, S., 2017. ”Pathways to Accessible, Affordable and Gender-Responsive Childcare Provision for Children Under Six-India Case Studies.

[3] ibid

[4] Committee on the Status of Women. 1974. ‘Towards Equality’. New Delhi: Ministry of Education and Social Welfare, Government of India

[5] Government of India, 1988. Shramshakti: Report of the National Commission on Self-Employed Women and Women in the Informal Sector

[6] ibid

[7] Mishra, S and Shubhika Sachdeva in Agrawal, N., 2021. Her Right To Equality: From Promise to Power. Penguin Random House India Private Limited.

[8] ibid

Sayak Sinha
Sayak Sinha

Policy Manager

Sayak holds a masters in Public Policy and Governance from Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. He has worked on a range of policy issues and provided advisory to the Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand. His hobbies include football, reading and cinema.

Why do women depend less on informal sources for job search than men?

The latest PLFS round reveals that job search methods differ between men and women with women relying more on formal sources of job searches than men. The formal job search methods include applying to prospective employers/places, answering job advertisements, checking at factories, and work sites, registering with employment exchanges, and registering with private employment centres. In contrast, informal sources comprise personal networks, including relatives and friends. According to PLFS 2021-22, 76% of unemployed men are looking for a job through formal channels, whereas 87% of unemployed women, a much higher share, are resorting to formal sources for the job search. 20% of unemployed men are using their informal networks to find a job, and the share comes down to a much lower 12% in case of women. The rest of the unemployed are either seeking finance for starting a business or applying for a permit to start a business. This blog explores the reasons behind women’s preference for formal sources for job search over informal ones.  

Informal networks, as a social resource in job search, provide access to more valuable information which are unavailable through formal means. As a result, informal networks are often more efficient to navigate individuals into better job matches with higher job satisfaction and earnings more quickly. PLFS data corroborates this view of network efficacy as it is observed that women searching for a job through informal sources face a shorter duration of unemployment than those depending on formal sources. Among the unemployed women currently looking for a job through a formal source, more than 30% women face a spell of unemployment of more than 2 years and for 18% women, the duration of the spell of unemployment has been more than 3 years at that time of survey. On the other hand, only 15% of the unemployed women who use the informal sources for job search, had a duration of a spell of unemployment of more than two years, and only 8% of them faced a spell of unemployment of more than three years.

Despite informal networks being more effective, women depending more on formal job search methods as compared to men, have several causes and implications. Informal networks are powerful for job-hunting when they can grant access to a more heterogeneous set of people, located in various sectoral and occupational positions. With the diversity of people in network, the non-redundancy of job information and the effectiveness of one’s network rises. Also, with higher socio-economic status of one’s informal contacts, the chances of receiving information about highly paid jobs, jobs in higher social stature, increase. However, the composition of women’s informal network is often found to differ from men. With a much higher share of family responsibilities and less participation in the workforce, women have limited exposure to diverse group of contacts. Marriage further limits their informal connections due to the cultural restrictions preventing freedom of interactions with outsiders. Also, with gender homophily i.e. the preference of interactions with persons of their own gender, the informal networks are often gender-segregated with women’s network being predominantly consisting of women only. Additionally, due to the existing gender-based segregation in the labour market, women’s presence is low in high-wage, high-skill sectors and occupations. Thus, in a gender-segregated network, women get limited access to information about the high-skill, highly-paid jobs. These factors together explain why fewer women in comparison to men, find their informal network to be effective for job search and majority follows the formal search methods. However, women who had worked previously tend to depend on their informal network more than those who never worked as often due to the exposure associated with their work experience they tend to have more diverse informal contacts and an effective source of information for job opportunities.

 

 As placements through informal routes often tend to reinforce the existing gender-based occupational and industrial segregation, women with higher education depend more on formal sources in an attempt to escape the trap of female ghettoization in low-paid jobs. The PLFS data reveal that among women without any literacy, 48% depended on informal sources, with the dependence coming down to 17% for women with primary and below primary level of education, 22% for women with middle to higher-secondary level of education, and only 8% for women with graduation and post-graduation level of education. For the urban areas, women with basic and intermediate level of education depends relatively more on informal networks as compared to their rural counterparts. This indicates that for the semi-skill occupations, women’s informal network is relatively more effective in urban areas than rural areas. But again, for women with education level of graduation, post-graduation and above, the dependence is very less on their informal network in both rural and urban areas. Although for men too, the reliance on the informal network gets reduced with increase in education level, the decline is starker for women. This diminishing dependence on informal network for more educated women aspiring for better paid white-collar jobs appropriate to their education levels, points towards their gender-segregated informal network as a less effective source of information. 

However, as revealed by the PLFS data, even among the highly educated women, expectedly looking for high-skill, highly-paid jobs, those who have dependable informal network and thus explore that, face a shorter spell of unemployment as compared to those who depend on formal sources. Among women with education level of graduation, post-graduation and above, around 30% women faced a spell of unemployment of more than two years and 17% are looking for a job for more than three years, as they depended on formal sources of job-hunting. On the other hand, only 16% faced a spell of unemployment for more two years and only 5% for more than three years when these highly qualified women looked for jobs though informal sources. This indicates that informal networks when can be depended on for high-skill jobs too, can be more effective as compared to formal sources.

The findings from PLFS indicate the need of recognition of the lack of social capital for women and their exclusion from male-dominated influential informal ties and networks. Women are not a homogeneous group and there exist many other cross-cutting socio-economic factors among them determining their reach to the informal contacts instrumental to gender-balanced jobs. Even after considering these factors, women across all sections are in a disadvantageous position. This is majorly due to the gendered nature of social network and women’s poorer structural location in the jobs market ladder. With the job search method often playing a crucial role in reinforcing the existing gender-based occupational and industrial segregation by leading to women’s concentration in women-dominated jobs, few measures on part of the government and Civil Society Organisations might prove helpful. For example, developing strategies to form networking groups that will help women establish the right connections by making ‘women in powerful positions’ a part of these groups; sensitisation about the often consciously created resistance to women’s integration to the influential network, might be undertaken to address these concerns at least partially.

 

Author: Bidisha Mondal is a Research Fellow at IWWAGE.