Government Intervention in Rural Labour Market and its Implications for Women: How MGNREGA Made Women Economically Well-Off
Keywords:Rural Labour Market, Wages, Employment, Women Employment, MGNREGA.
AbstractIncreasing rural real wages can be said to be the best policy of making women economically well-off, as trend across Asia shows higher female labour force participation in rural areas than that of urban areas. The stagnant rural wages impact the women most as they constitute the least paid section of the rural workforce, preferred in the activities which are labour-intensive but lower paid (Veneteshwaralu and Jacob, 2012), and they experience occupational segregation and lower pay in same work compared to men (ADB, 2016). Being the least educated, the women don't have enough opportunity outside agriculture; so, they cannot think of having jobs in more productive sectors and are less free to migrate to the cities because of the social system. The paper looks at the overall employment scenario in India post-liberalisation, and explains the rural labour market and the wage discrimination based on gender. Taking MGNREGA as a case study, the paper attempts to explain how employment generation programmes can contribute to increasing women's participation.
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