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Wage and income differentials on the basis of gender in Indian agriculture

Pandey, Adya Prasad and Shivesh, Shivesh (2007): Wage and income differentials on the basis of gender in Indian agriculture.

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Abstract

In a predominantly agricultural country like India, women play distinctive role in rural economic activities in earning a livelihood for the family. Except in the case of rich landowners and the upper castes, women of other categories are engaged in both the production and marketing of products of agriculture and handicrafts, women of these categories also combine household work with these activities. Because of the complexities of the role of women in different types of work, it is very difficult to examine the women’s contribution to family income through available employment statistics. There are almost intractable problems of definition as to what constitutes ‘employment’ and ‘work’ and as to who is as out to be over-simplistic and does not reflect the complexities of the situation. Until employment statistics relating to women are made more refined and meaningful, we are left with no option but to do the best we can with the available ones. In order to examine gender dimensions within and income earnings in India, the context of gendered participation of female labour supplies in its entirety needs to the accounted for. The dimensions affecting pre-entry conditions that influence capabilities, human capital traits and labour supply characteristics; aspects of in-market discriminations and gender biases against women in terms of hiring, promotion, segregation, gender relations and remunerations; and factors influencing women’s work time distribution among paid and unpaid activities, own and hired labour, extended activi8ties of household maintenance, care-giving, socially derived, traditional roles and sexual division of labour that influences the different agents of the labour markets have to be explored to understand the nature of gender-based wage differentials in India. The present paper highlights the wage and income differentials on the basis of gender in the Indian agriculture.

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