Mukherjee, Dipa (2005): Changing Role of Women: A Study of Small Manufacturing Enterprises in India. Published in: Journal of Economic & Social Development , Vol. II, No. 2 (2006)
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Women's position in the labour market is quite vulnerable and they face widespread discrimination, especially in the informal sector. This position is changing, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and there is a marked trend towards feminisation of workforce. This paper focuses on this changing position of women in the informal manufacturing sector in India over the 1989-2000 period. The share of women in total employment is declining in the sectors traditionally labeled for women and increasing in the non-traditional sectors. Distribution of women employment is becoming more evenly spread across both activity groups and regions. Widespread casualisation emerges to be a prominent phenomenon. Poverty, literacy and per capita income are identified as important determinants of incidence of women employment. In recent years women's participation seems to be less distress driven. Regulations regarding minimum wage, mass literacy campaign along with vocational and on the job training are some of the policy suggestions.