Gender Segregation In Employment Essay

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“Work defines the conditions of human existence” (Ghosh, n.d., p.1)
Since the 1990s informal sector employment has increased rapidly in all regions of the world. In developing countries, informal sector is a chief source of employment for women. Majority of the women who are economically active in developing countries are employed in the informal sector and this claim is supported by the existing data. According to UN “In India, the informal sector accounts for nine out of every ten women working outside agriculture” (Chen, 2001, p.2). Moreover, a vast majority of these workers are either home based workers or street vendors. Their participation and contribution is not considered as “work” in the mainstream discussion because so much of it is invisible or does not fit into the
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These “invisible” household activities that women perform are not subject to explicit market relations. This affects the actual productive contribution of women which in turn affects the labour force participation of women (Ghosh, n.d.). Such exclusion in conception and collection of labour force data represent patriarchal assumptions. If the over-all gender division of labour includes housework which is predominantly female dominated then the estimates of gender segregation would be significantly higher (Cohen, 2004). The basic idea is to explore the occupational segregation between men and women. However, there is a possibility that gender segregation in occupation is linked to the sexual division of labour at home. Moreover, occupational segregation does not include the unpaid labour that women perform at home (Cohen, 2004). Therefore, to determine the overall gender division of labour it is important to examine the link between the segregation in occupation and at home and to include the unpaid activities. It is possible that cultural, social and economic factors influence what kind of work women engage themselves.

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