The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty
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The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

Edited by Sylvia Chant

In the interests of contextualising (and nuancing) the multiple interrelations between gender and poverty, Sylvia Chant has gathered writings on diverse aspects of the subject from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives, achieving extensive thematic as well as geographical coverage. This benchmark volume presents women’s and men’s experiences of gendered poverty with respect to a vast spectrum of intersecting issues including local to global economic transformations, family, age, ‘race’, migration, assets, paid and unpaid work, health, sexuality, human rights, and conflict and violence.
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Chapter 73: A Gendered Analysis of Decent Work Deficits in India’s Urban Informal Economy: Case Study Perspectives from Surat

Paula Kantor


Paula Kantor Through case study material from a 2004 study of urban informal employment in Surat, India, this chapter emphasises the importance of improving employment quality in order to reduce poverty, and the need to assess employment quality by gender and employment status to ensure resulting poverty reduction strategies address sources of structural inequality in labour markets. Key development frameworks for poverty reduction, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), pay little attention to employment generation and employment quality as means of achieving their ends. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), through its concept of ‘decent work’, puts employment and employment quality centre stage, though could give greater attention to the social and economic structures influencing how men and women differently access work, leading to differences in outcomes. This chapter starts with a discussion of the dimensions of decent work and briefly describes the challenges in extending the concept to the informal economy. It then discusses the role of employment in poverty reduction, with specific attention to the gendered nature of opportunities and outcomes within the informal economy. Using case study data, it analyses decent work deficits among workers in Surat’s urban informal economy, exploring the influence of the intertwined structural inequalities of gender and employment status on employment quality outcomes. It closes with a discussion of ways forward to address gendered deficits in employment quality. Decent work for all In 1999 the ILO set itself the challenge to achieve decent work for all, meaning opportunities for men and women to find...

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