Women's Exclusion and Unfavorable Inclusion in Informal Employment in Lucknow, India: Barriers to Voice and Livelihood Security

Citation: Kantor, Paula. 2009. “Women’s Exclusion and Unfavorable Inclusion in Informal Employment in Lucknow, India: Barriers to Voice and Livelihood Security.” World Development 37 (1): 194–207. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.05.002.

Author: Paula Kantor


This paper provides comparative analyses across women’s employment-status groups to examine how processes of exclusion and constrained and adverse inclusion shape different women’s labor market opportunities and outcomes in Lucknow, India. It examines under what conditions, if at all, women’s labor contributes to household-poverty reduction and for which work types paid employment leads to increased voice for women in the household, one dimension of a process of empowerment. It finds that women’s labor force participation has a meager influence on household and individual level development outcomes largely due to the inter-related processes of exclusion and inclusion, where social norms and responsibilities for reproductive work can lead to constrained inclusion in the labor market, adversely affecting women’s terms of incorporation. The findings have relevance for programming focusing on improving the range and quality of choices for women in the paid economy.

Keywords: South Asia, India, informal employment, women, exclusion

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2009

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