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Centre for Gender and Labour

The Centre for Gender and Labour has been set up with the objective of addressing and strengthening the understanding of gender issues in the labour market. With market reforms, such issues have occupied an important dimension of research. Women suffer multiple disadvantages in terms of access to labour markets, and often do not have the same level of freedom as men to choose to work. Gender differences in labour force participation rates and unemployment rates are persistent features of global labour markets. Gender inequality remains an issue within labour markets globally. These issues need to be addressed to ensure gender equality in the labour market, which requires concerted efforts both at academic and policy levels.


Women face constraints in terms of sectors of economic activity in which they work. Women are also often in an underprivileged position in terms of the share of vulnerable employment in total employment. These workers are most likely to be characterized by insecure employment like domestic workers, especially the migrants with poor skills, low earnings and low productivity. Another area of concern is gender wage differentials that may be due to a variety of factors, including crowding of women in low paying industries and differences in skills and work experience, but may also be the result of discrimination. Labour market gender gaps are more pronounced in developing countries, and often exacerbated by gendered patterns in occupational segregation, with the majority of women’s work typically concentrated in a narrow range of sectors, many of which are vulnerable and insecure.


It is a fact, however, that the contribution of women to the national economy is still subject to more under reporting and misrepresentation than the contribution of men. The statistics available are partial and contribute to maintaining a distorted perception of the nature of a country’s economy and its human resources, and perpetrating a vicious circle of inequality between men and women caused by inappropriate perceptions, policies and programmes. It becomes imperative to have an in-depth analysis of various statistical data and locate the important gender concerns in the data. Given the constraints women are facing, promoting gender equality and empowering women is pivotal to achieving the new target on full and productive employment and decent work for all.


Initiatives on skill development and empowerment through micro-credit and self-help groups would be some of efforts of the Centre. Moreover health, a socially produced phenomenon, needs to be examined in the context of the laboring poor and women in particular, who historically have been socially and politically marginalized. Various efforts have been also been undertaken to enhance health care to the marginalized.


Within this framework the activities of the centre are thus envisaged to upgrade the status of the institute to a leading institute in the area of research, education, training and advocacy on gender and women’s labour in particular. Further, the centre is visualized to act as an apex repository of documents and data on women labour and as an interactive forum for experts and activists in the field to enhance the understanding of gender and women labour issues.


Core Research Areas


  • Gender Aspects of Globalization

  • Emerging trends in the new economy

  • Decent work

  • Domestic workers: Issues and Concerns

  • Gender equality in the world of work 

  • Empowerment of women in the Informal Economy

  • Skill training and development

  • Micro credit institutions and self-help groups

  • Changing Gender relations in the rural labour markets

  • Changing agrarian relations and its impact on women's employment

  • Women in Non- farm rural employment

  • Gender aspects of social security

  • Social Security Schemes for women workers: Emerging Models and Approaches

  • Gender Issues in livelihood

  • Gender and Law

  • Labour laws pertaining to women workers

  • Gender Statistics

  • Concepts of gender statistics related to labour

  • Gender issues in labour statistics

  • Gender, Work and IT(Information Technology) Sector

  • Labour market participation of women post-maternity in the IT Sector

  • Skill composition of IT sector

  • Gender and Health

  • Gender and Health Issues in the Plantation Sector

  • Understanding Health Care Programmes with a Gender Perspective 

  • Specific Research Themes

  • Implementation of Maternity Benefits Act

  • Work Participation of women post-maternity in IT sector

  • Empowering Rural Women through Action Research (Rural Camps)

  • Gender and Health Issues in the Plantation Sector

  • Gender Dimensions of Employment Specific Schemes with focus on MNREGA

  • Health Programmes for The Laboring Poor

  • Impact of Skill Training on Women Workers in the Informal Sector

  • Gender Budgeting

  • Gender Statistics

  • Women and Work in the IT/ITes Sector


Centre Co-ordinator

Dr. Shashi Bala, Fellow