Working Women in Informal Sector: Geographical Perspective

Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (185-199), 2016

Working Women in Informal Sector: Geographical Perspective

Sumita Kumari and Arun K. Singh
Department of Geography, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Abstract
Informal sector is generally a larger source of employment for women in the developing world. Measuring and defining informality is a challenging task and its definition varies over space. The objective of this paper is to highlight the conceptual and theoretical issues related to informal sector at global and national level. The paper also attempts to highlight the macro level analysis of data on employment in the informal economy and highlight the role of women in urban informal sector. The paper reveals the fact that definition of informal sector workers is more about the characteristics of the enterprise rather than the characteristics of the worker and proportion of people in informal employment in non-agricultural activities is significant in south east countries. It also reveals that a large section of women workers is unorganized and unpaid, and therefore does not enter into standard labour force and employment indicators which put them on the margin of the economic system. Present paper is divided into three segments. First segment deals with the conceptual and theoretical issues of urban informal sector. Second segment revolves round the states of informal sector at the global level with focus on South-East Asian region and third segment discusses the issues related to women working in informal sector in India.

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