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…)

Government to the Rescue of Domestic Workers

By Arifa Khan, Post Graduate College of Law, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

The exploitation of women and children domestic workers is regularly reported and with no rights protecting them. Most of the domestic help have become contemporary slaves. They are everywhere, in our homes, around small dhabas, tea stalls and working in every menial job possible. They work but are not considered as a part of the ‘services providing community’. They are paid very less, and many a times abused and met with physical ill-treatment. Hundreds of thousands of them endure untold suffering because of their perceived subordination due to caste, class and simply because of what they do for a living. Abuses range from underpaid wages to forced labour, physical violence, starvation and even death. Many women and children are trafficked and exploited by the placement agencies, which operate openly without any form of restrictions and regulations. (more…)