Chapter

A Matter of Survival: Women's Right to Employment in India and Bangladesh

Martha Chen

in Women, Culture, and Development

Published in print November 1995 | ISBN: 9780198289647
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596698 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198289642.003.0002

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 A Matter of Survival: Women's Right to Employment in India and Bangladesh

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Chen's paper focuses on women's right to work in rural Bangladesh and India to illustrate the symbolism of independence and the practical necessity for women in the developing world to break from the constraints of custom to forge their own way to economic security. Chen's fieldwork in Bangladesh shows that local traditions and local policies can change in response to the contingencies of human development, while her data in India supports the conclusion that local tradition varies across castes, regions, and time. Chen ends with a four‐dimensional analysis of women's right to gainful employment as a matter of (1) immediate survival for women and their dependents; (2) female mortality rates; (3) women's status; and (4) human justice.

Keywords: Bangladesh; India; justice; kinship; mortality rate; policy; poverty; survival; tradition; women and employment

Chapter.  9964 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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