Women in the Informal Sector: A Saga of Constraints and Vulnerabilities

The advent of globalization and marketization has resulted in an emergent trend towards the ‘informalisation’ of the labor market. Policymakers have identified the income-generation potential and the significance of the informal sector as a source of jobs in adverse economic crises. However, the phenomena of globalization and the work sphere cannot be disassociated from their gendered power relations. Developing countries like India, with a concomitant rise in informal employment, reveal an increasing number of women joining this sector, but mostly remaining “invisible” as they continue to work in low paid, low-status jobs in the informal sector; jobs which do not have any possibilities of betterment”. Studies suggest that 94% of women are a part of the informal sector, out of which approximately 50% perform functions in addition to their productive roles. These women are further confronted with constraints by their engendered role, wherein they’re additionally burdened with domestic responsibilities. Social connotations like these significantly contribute to the overall conceptualization of economic development.  (more…)

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: A Suggestive Approach for Supported Motherhood

By Sanidhya Sadanand Nayak, Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies, Bengaluru.

Not many in India discuss miscarriages, failed pregnancies or stillbirths, often blaming fate rather than broaching the matter diagnostically. The connection between the ill-health of the woman and the failure of pregnancy is hardly ever noticed, let alone acknowledged. In a country where more than half of the women are diagnosed with anaemia and malnourishment, it is disheartening that many women are subject to circumstances wherein they have no choice but to work until the end of the term of pregnancies. Some even return to work within a few days, eliminating any recovery period which the mother (especially a young one) may require. The compulsion to join work again is heavy specifically on women dependent on daily wages. The mothers are in a situation where they are unable to provide breast milk at required intervals, thereby exposing the child to a higher risk of malnourishment. (more…)

Balamrutham Programme: An Overview

By Anjana Mohan, Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

A country is born and brought up by its citizens. These citizens are the ones that rule the country and endow upon themselves the burden and struggles of keeping the country perfect for human civilization. Yet, many a times, the protection and provision of basic amenities for its people have been neglected. However presently, certain States in India have started realizing the need to mend the health and fitness of its people. One of the most common propositions brought up by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, is the Balamrutham programme. As of now, it is on hold due to the bifurcation of the State into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Nonetheless the strategies and the initiatives brought in through this programme are commendable. (more…)