ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women's Paid Work and Well-being in Rajasthan

Does women's participation in paid work lead to their better well-being? This analysis, through a primary survey carried out on the outskirts of Jaipur in Rajasthan, suggests a mixed picture. Participation in paid work is likely to bring some benefits to women but beyond a point the benefits are context-specific - whether women enter the labour force out of sheer survival necessity or due to other reasons. These findings provide neither a neat narrative that paid work is empowering women by providing them with choices and freedom, nor do they convey that paid work is demeaning and devoid of any important benefit. Instead, the findings call for considering a context-specific view of the potential of paid work for women's well-being and underline the significance of public policy in enhancing the well-being of poor women in India.

I am thankful to a referee and also to Padmini Swaminathan, Aparna Sundar and Rekha Pappu for useful comments and to Jagdish Sharma, Hema and Gayathri for the help in the primary survey. The study was fi nancially supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi.

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