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Rural Employment Diversification in North East India: An Analysis
Situational analysis of rural non-farm employment (RNFE) space in the North East India shows presence of severe regional variation. It also exhibits very high magnitude of feminisation and casualisation of employment in the construction sub-sector of RNFE. Although, the gender gap in the RNFE space in this region has virtually disappeared, gender deprivation is very much present and disquieting. This is reflected when women workers are increasingly pushed to undertake supportive, residual, casual and non-remunerative works vis-à-vis men workforce. Process analysis of structural transformation process of RNFE in north east region (NER) explains the role of both developmental as well as distress factors. The important identified developmental factors happen to be household income from agriculture, access to credit and distance from nearest urban centre. Poverty of households has emerged as one of the important distress factors pushing households to go in for non-farm activities as a strategy of survival. However, looking at the abrupt feminsation and casualisation aspects of women's employment during the period from 2004-05 to 2009-10, the distress factors seem to have acted heavy on the growth of RNFE in this region.
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