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In the slipstream of my Maalkin: Cascading effect of increasing female employment in urban India

Mukherjee, Nandini and Majumder, Rajarshi (2019): In the slipstream of my Maalkin: Cascading effect of increasing female employment in urban India. Published in: IASSI Quarterly , Vol. 39, No. 2 (2020): pp. 245-265.

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The world of work is neatly divided into two parts – that of men and women. While men are more into remunerative and recognised work, women shoulder the burden of unpaid and often unrecognised forms of work. Being out of paid formal labour market, they are not paid for their work and hence cannot claim a tangible, monetary contribution to the household. This weakens their bargaining power within the family and in society and prevents their empowerment in true and egalitarian sense. Thus improving Female LFPR and bringing more females into the labour market is a tool for women empowerment, improving GDI & HDI, and reducing GII. This would also raise aggregate work participation and boost the macroeconomic aggregates of the nation along with better health and social indicators. We argue that the impact of increased female employment, especially policy driven formal work, leads to further vacancies in the domestic care-economy space, most often filled up by female domestic worker. Thus a chain effect starts and creates a cascading multiplier impact that improves female work participation much more than the initial and documented rise. In this paper this multiplier impact is sought to be quantified using primary survey data from four cities of India. Results indicate significant cascading effect is present and needs to be tapped to improve gender composition of workforce.

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