Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 4 April 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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An Assessment on Women's Work Participation and Economic Equality

J. Sheela, B. Sc., M.A., Ph.D.
M. Jayamala, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Beginning of Agriculture and Women

In the history of human civilization, the advent of agriculture was the beginning of the settled life. With the settlement of erstwhile nomadic people, the relationship of family, kinship and community crystallized with time between different sexes and age groups. Thus the beginning of agriculture had a special significance in defining and determining the status, role and contribution of women thorough out the world. Since then women play a different role in their home, viz., activities as wives in their personal lives, as mother responsible for the development of their children and as homemakers in charge of the operation of their homes. In addition, women also played a pivotal role in agriculture and livestock management. In modern agriculture too, women continued to share a number of farm operations with men.

Tradition and Roles of Women

Traditionally, women had no definite role in majority of family affairs system. The situation not seems to be changing considerably in spite of the changing scenario in the society. The patriarchal system of the family life, which has been in voyage since time immemorial, has downgraded women. The work of women at home includes collection of firewood, bringing water from long distances and helping in the family or in the fields and third type of work is not recognized because they are not paid for it. The work burden on women is extreme.

Srivatsava (1985) reported that women irrespective of land, status of the family provide 14 to 18 hours of productivity physical labour in different chores. The energy spent by them in performing these is more than it is physically feasible for them to spend particularly in a below subsistence level of living. Indian women work for 69 hours a week, while men work 59 hours per week. It is estimated that the average hours of unpaid work done by women outside their home ranges from 6.1 to 7.5 per day, with some women working for 10 hours and more.

Women in Current Work Force

For equal participation of women in the work force, Ministry of Labour had set up a Women Labour Cell in 1975 with the intention to focus the condition of working women and bring improvement in them. Yet the work participation of women in both organized and unorganized sector is yet to improve.

The gradual realization of self resulted with women's movements for the enlistment of women. Men and women are indispensable part of humankind. They are supplementary and complementary to each other; neither can stand-alone. The development of community, society or nation in any field, be it social, economic, political or spiritual, depends on both men and women. Women are the mothers of race and provide the liaison between generations.

Constitutional Rights of Women in India

Indian Constitutional Rights define the position of women in a State. It defines the political, social and economic ways of living and the status of women. The Constitution of India not only guarantees equality to women but also empowers the State to adopt positive measures in favour of women for neutralising the socio-economic, educational and political disadvantages. Rights to equality are a fundamental Right.

But in practical, it could be seen that the society from the very beginning, being very backward in thinking regarding the freedom of women. Nehru once said "To awaken people it is the women who must be awakened, once she is on move the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves" (Mishra, 1993).

The role of women has to be visualized as described in the words of Rabindranath Tagore in Chitra. "The heroine speaks to Arjuna, I am no goddess to be worshipped, not yet the subject of common pity to be brushed aside, keep me by your side, in the path of danger and daring, if you allow me to share the great duties of your life, then you will know my true self". Today women are educated, employed and economically independent with decision making power.

Undervaluing Women's Contributions

The workingwomen of today represent a new dimension of Indian womanhood. They are women dedicated to their job and challenge the changing society as well as committed to their dear and near one's. The prosperity and growth of nation depends on the status and development of women as they not only constitute nearly half of the population, but also influence growth of remaining half of the population. The crucial role of women in household activities, agriculture and allied occupations however has been underestimated and undervalued. Women take up different works to eke out their livelihood and the majority of the rural women depend on agriculture, which is the major occupation in unorganized sector in India.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Influence of First Language Grammar (L1) on the English Language (L2) Writing of Tamil School Students: A Case Study from Malaysia | Economic Hardship and Emotional Humiliation in Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable | Effects of Using Urdu Dictionary as a Teaching Tool for Teaching Urdu in Urdu Language Classroom in Pakistan | Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Mizo, a Tonal Language | Racism and the American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men | Stimulating Language Strategies through Thinking - Help for Slow Learners | Masses as the True Makers of History - Analysis of the Play The Trial of Dedan Mimathi | Personal and Labour Market Environment Factors in English for Employability: A Case Study of KSA | A Study of the Reported Language Skill Development Strategies of the Student Teachers in Pakistan | Strategies for Communication Skills Development | Schema in Learning | Achieving Professional Goals: Use of a Mixed Discourse in Interviews | The Reality in Langston Hughes' Poems | Techniques to Teach Vocabulary to Regional Medium Students | Life History of Buddha as Reflected in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha | Technique as Voyage of Discovery: A Study of the Techniques in Dante's Paradiso | Some Gaps in the Current Studies of Reading in Second/Foreign Language Learning | Unmasking Student Competence: Using Computers to Teach Writing | Feminist Literary Criticism | Amy Tan and Chinese American Literature | An Acoustic Analysis of Glottal Fricative [h] at Word Medial and Final Positions: A Comparison between Regular and Non-regular Urdu Speakers of Pakistan | Teaching Writing Skills | Self-esteem of Institutionalised Elderly Women in Coimbatore - A Case History | An Assessment on Women's Work Participation and Economic Equality | Economics of Crime : A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Convicted Female and Male Criminality in Selected Prisons in Tamil Nadu | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF APRIL 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of April 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

J. Sheela, B. Sc., M.A., Ph.D.

M. Jayamala, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Centre for Women's Studies
PSGR Krishnammal College for Women
Coimbatore 641 004
Tamilnadu, India
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