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61st Labour Economics Conference, Patiala, India

December 7-9, 2019

Panel title: Women in rural labourforce: Factors influencing non-agricultural engagement of women workers

Panel abstract: Labourforce statistics in India clearly show that women’s work in rural areas remain concentrated in petty activities in the secondary and service sectors that are usually low paid, low-value added and do not have much potential for intersectoral and vertical mobilities. The existing opportunities are either unremunerative and does not meet women’s expected working conditions and returns from labour or are those that require training, education and skills that are not imparted efficiently for engaging women or those that are determined by the women’s social identities. The thrust towards use of advanced technology has also ushered in a different regime of work for women alongside the traditional methods of organisation of work, for instance in the emerging ‘gig work’ or increasing use of digital platforms for women’s economic collectives or facilitating financial inclusion of women and so on.  This panel proposes to deliberate and discuss on these several aspects of ‘what works’ to reverse such declines in women’s engagement; importance of education, skill and training; role of social identities; use of technology and macroeconomic factors influencing economic opportunities for women.

Panelists: Atul Sood (JNU), Anjana Thampi (IWWAGE), Dipa Sinha (AUD), Nitya (SEWA), Ruchika Chaudhary (IWWAGE)

Discussant: Amit Basole, Centre for sustainable Employment, APU and Uma Rani, ILO

Moderator: Sona Mitra, IWWAGE