|VOLUME 4 (2002), ISSUE 8 (WINTER)
INVISIBLE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF WOMEN : IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL POLICY IN INDIA
P. G. DHAR CHAKRABARTI
As per the Census of India, only 22.3% of women in the age group of 18 to 55 are engaged in economic activities. The rest of the women are believed to be "non-workers" performing household chores.
A pilot Time Use Survey (TUS) using stratified sampling technique in about 18,600 households spread over six representative provinces in five regions has demolished this myth about Indian women. The study shows that 38 per cent of the time of the so-called non-working women is actually spent on economic activities and 51 per cent of these activities remain unrecognized and unpaid. In some of the provinces the extent of unpaid economic activities was as high 86 per cent.
The potential implications of these findings for the strategy for economic empowerment of women are enormous. This article suggests policy interventions for economic empowerment of women in some areas of the country.
Women - India - Labor - Social Policy
P. G. Dhar CHAKRABARTI is a senior civil servant, presently in charge of the Women’s Development Bureau in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. He studied Sociology at the University of Calcutta, where he then taught before joining the civil service. He has held important assignments on urban management at the city, provincial and national levels and contributed a number of policy papers on poverty, urban reform, gender and related issues.
This article is based on a conference paper presented at the 2002 conference of the Asia-Pacific Sociological Association in Brisbane, Australia ("Asia-Pacific Societies: Contrasts, Challenges, and Crises").
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