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Rural Women Workers in India's Unorganized Sector
By Meenu Agrawal

First Published : 2012
ISBN : 9788177083286
Pages : 216
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 39

Census 2011 estimated India’s population at 121 crore. Rural population accounted for 68.8 percent (83.3 crore) of the total population. A very large proportion of rural population is —either wholly or significantly—dependant on agriculture and allied activities like horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries.

According to the final report of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) [Chairman: Arjun Sengupta] released in April 2009, workers in the unorganized (or informal) sector constitute more than 93 percent of the total workforce of India. Unorganized sector workers are those who do not have any job security, income security or social security and are therefore extremely vulnerable to exogenous shocks.

Women in rural areas are clearly the overwhelming proportion of the workforce in the informal rural economy and most of them suffer from various forms of insecurities and vulnerabilities.

The present work explains and examines the conditions of rural women workers. It also focuses on policies and programmes of the Government to ameliorate their socio-economic existence.   

1. Unorganized Sector and Women
1.1 Unorganized Sector Defined
1.2 Status of Women in India
1.2.1 Manu on Women
1.3 Constitutional Safeguards for Women
2. Review of Literature on Socio-economic Conditions of Women
3. Characteristics of Unorganized Sector/Labour
3.1 Conceptual Framework
3.2 Low Rate of Participation
3.3 Low Scale of Organisation and Family Ownerships
3.4 Low Order Technology
3.5 Lack of Support from Government
3.6 Unregulated and Highly Competitive Labour Market
3.7 Unprotected Product Market
3.8 Linkages between Organised and Unorganised Sectors
4. Growth and Components of the Unorganized Sector
4.1 Unorganized Sector: A Brief History
4.2 Migration of Rural Labour to Cities
4.3 Non-availability of Jobs in Modern Sector
4.4 Women in Agricultural Sector
4.5 Women in Small Industrial Sector
4.6 Women in Construction Sector
4.7 Domestic Service Sector
4.8 Self-employed Sector
5. Problems of Unorganized Women Workers
5.1 Wage Discrimination
5.2 Greater Involvement of Rural Women in Agriculture
5.3 Equal Pay: A Matter of Survival
5.4 No Limit for Minimum Wages
5.5 Long Hours of Work
5.6 Lack of Health Facilities at Work Place
5.7 Lack of Job Security
5.8 Lack of Legislative Cover
5.9 Heavy Physical Work
5.10 Exploitation, Sexual Harassment and Ill Treatment
5.11 Lack of Safe Working Places
5.12 Lack of Landownership for Rural Women
5.13 Lack of Social Security
6. Policies and Programmes for Unorganized Sector Women Workers
6.1 Labour Laws for Women
6.2 National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
6.3 Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)
6.3.1 Operational Strategy of IRDP
6.4 Training Rural Youth for Self-employment (TRYSEM)
6.5 Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA)
6.6 Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY)
6.7 Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
6.8 Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
6.9 Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
6.10 Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)
6.11 Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY)
6.12 Swarna Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)
6.13 Watershed Development Programmes
6.14 Special Employment Scheme by Khadi and Gramodyog Board
6.15 Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
6.16 Ambedkar Vishesh Rozgar Yojana (AVRY)
6.17 Social Security Act, 2008
6.18 Social Security Scheme
6.19 Report of the National Commission on Labour
7. National Policy for Empowerment of Women (NPEW), 2001
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Objectives of the Policy
7.3 Various Elements of NPEW
7.3.1 Politico-legal Empowerment of Women
7.3.2 Economic Empowerment of Women
7.3.3 Social Empowerment of Women
7.4 Operational Strategies of NPEW
7.4.1 Action Plans
7.4.2 Institutional Mechanisms
7.4.3 Resource Management
7.4.4 Legislation
7.4.5 Gender Sensitization
7.4.6 Panchayati Raj Institutions
7.4.7 Partnership with the Voluntary Sector Organizations
7.4.8 International Cooperation
Appendix: Rural Women Workers in the Unorganized Sector: A Case Study of Bulandshahr District of Western Uttar Pradesh




Dr. Meenu Agrawal is Associate Professor and Head, Department of Economics, GDM Girls (Post-graduate) College, Modinagar. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut in 1991. She specialises in the areas of rural development, poverty alleviation, and women empowerment. With more than 27 years of teaching experience and 20 years of research experience, she has authored 2 books and co-authored 3 books in areas of her specialisation.

Dr. Agrawal has published 52 research papers in journals/magazines of repute. She has also contributed and presented papers at national and international seminars. She is Director of a Major Research Project sponsored by University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi.

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