1st Edition

Gender, Unpaid Work and Care in India

Edited By Ellina Samantroy, Subhalakshmi Nandi Copyright 2022
    218 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    218 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    218 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book explores the paradox of women’s paid and unpaid work in India. It examines key themes including historical discourses, macroeconomic policies, employment trends, issues of tribal areas, public services and infrastructure, climate change and gendered migration and vulnerability of girl children. It highlights the play of gender norms, resource rights, identities and agency in women’s work. Building on feminist theoretical frameworks and empirical analyses from microstudies, the volume offers fresh perspectives for research and policy on women’s work in the Global South.

    A timely intervention, this multidisciplinary book will be useful to scholars and researchers of political economy, labour studies, women’s/gender studies, public policy, economics, development studies, sociology, South Asian studies and Global South studies. It will interest planners, policymakers, gender advocates, civil society organisations, human rights bodies and international organisations working towards ensuring gender equality and women’s rights.

    Foreword by Devaki Jain



    Ellina Samantroy and Subhalakshmi Nandi


    PART I: Conceptual and Methodological Evolution in Understanding Women’s Unpaid Work


    1.     Framing the Discourse on Women’s Unpaid Work in India

    Ratna M. Sudarshan


    2.    Dimensions of Women's Unpaid Work in India: Significance of the 3Rs for Macroeconomic Policies

    Sona Mitra


    3.    Valuing Women’s Unpaid Work in India: Lessons from Time Use Surveys

    Ellina Samantroy


    PART II: Labour Market Trends, Informality and Women’s Unpaid Work in India 


    4.    Unpacking Sectoral Trends in Female Employment in India

    Dipa Sinha


    5.    Women Informal Workers and The Right to ‘Care’: Implications of Women’s Care Responsibilities on their Employment Prospects

    Sakshi Khurana


    PART III: Emerging Dimensions in the Understanding of Women’s Unpaid Work


    6.    Women’s Burden of Unpaid Care Work and the Power of Public Services

    Diya Dutta


    7.    Environmental Distress, Out-Migration and Changing Gender Roles: A Case Study of Rural Uttarakhand, India

    Manoj Jatav, Sucharita Sen and Deepika Jajoria


    8.    Work and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Tribal Rajasthan, India

    Mubashira Zaidi


    9.    Extricating the Perpetuation of Inter-Generational Vulnerability of Girl Children to Labour Exploitation and Rights Deprivation: Analysis of Policies, Strategies and Collective Orchestrated Action

    Helen R. Sekar



    Subhalakshmi Nandi


    Ellina Samantroy is Fellow, Centre for Gender and Labour, V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, India. 

    Subhalakshmi Nandi is Senior Program Officer, Gender Equality, Policy and Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and formerly Director, Policy at ICRW Asia.

    ‘This is a powerful book bringing together the voices of researchers, policy advocates and practitioners, together to draw out the dynamics of women’s unpaid-paid work continuum in India. The book’s main takeaways, albeit not new, are critical in order to advance our understanding of how patterns of women’s work can be understood and measured through an intersectional lens (e.g., single women, married women, girls, migrant women, tribal women, etc.). 

    A key strength of this book is its showcasing of micro-examples of how gender norms around care and mobility and women’s access to resources, affect women’s work and employment. It provides important empirical evidence for how public services and infrastructure can be enablers of women’s paid, unpaid and care work. This is one of the most interesting books on this subject coming out of the Indian context, that will help readers to not only understand the context of women’s work in India, but also think proactively and differently about solutions towards creating better quality ‘work’ for women – both paid and unpaid.’ 

    Deepta Chopra, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, UK


    ‘For India, labor force statistics document a sharp decline in already low labour force participation rates for Indian women. On the other hand, however, anyone familiar with the day-to-day lives of Indian women cannot fail to remark upon the whirlwind of activities they engage in, leaving little time for leisure. So how do we reconcile these two divergent observations? With chapters from outstanding researchers, this book brings together diverse perspectives to provide a holistic picture of women’s work in both market and non-market activities. It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the institutional context of women’s work in India and its implications for public policy.’ 

    Sonalde Desai, Professor, University of Maryland, USA