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Women at the Bottom in India: Women Workers in the Informal Economy

Sheeva Yamunaprasad Dubey

Contemporary Voice of Dalit 8(1), 2016
The poor and marginalized women in India have not just experienced the inequalities of class and gender but also of caste and religion. Since most of them are employed informally, they are further exposed to job-related insecurities. The article intends to identify these women at the bottom of the Indian society and to understand their historical and current challenges. In the first section, it explores some major intersections of inequalities and disadvantages that these women face, attempting to under-stand their differences and commonalities. It is found that these women predominantly belong to dalit ,tribal or Muslim communities. These women face unique struggles, owing to their different community identities. These challenges and their historical background are explored in the second section of the article. In addition, they face certain common challenges owing to their gender and the informal nature
of their occupation, which is addressed in the third section. The article discusses their common and unique concerns through an exploration of various theoretical frameworks and gives a comprehensive overview of the subject. It underscores that the informal employment in India cannot be addressed without fully grasping the intertwined issues of caste, religion, community or gender.
Courtesy: Sage
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