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Intersectional Inequalities in a Globalized World

Maya Sharma

By Indrani Mukerjee
Stree, Kolkata, 2007, pp. 349, Rs. 550.00

VOLUME XXXI NUMBER 10 October 2007

The recognition of women as important contributors to the world of work and economy is rarely matched with the spirit of inquiry this book shows. Stitching scattered facts and data together it presents a holistic picture of globalization as it impacts the women workers. This book fills a lacuna at several levels—from the rudimentary level of pointing out the absence of sex desegregated data to analysing those where present to demonstrate the complex web of contradictions women experience under globalization: getting displaced/losing/gaining/ dwindling employments and continually occupying the informal/less privileged ends of the job in terms of: wages, work conditions, increasing intensity and insecurity. They now face new developments of changed relationships with employers/contractors, bearing along the way other forms of intersectional inequalities.   The author has captured that face of globalization which is so elusive and invisible that the direct or indirect linkages with it are hard to decipher. The labyrinths of incredibly fast changing lanes and by-lanes, across borders and quagmire of policies and agreements otherwise hard to track down have been brought down on earth. Pegging the study in the capital city of Delhi, and its satellite townships of Noida, Gurgoan in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana respectively, between the years 2002-2004, the author says that the research, a combination of structured questionnaires, individual and group discussions covered 500 women workers. The structured questionnaires in the form of a primary survey covered a total of 410 women workers of which 150 were from garment export factories, 150 from the home based sector engaged in a range of manufacturing processes and industries, 60 from the electronics manufacturing and 50 in Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), principally in call centres belonged to the middle class. Hard bound and prefaced with an introduction, an overview of globalization and a formal conclusion at the end, the four chapters in the center of the book on the sectors mentioned earlier follow a common pattern. Delineating the broad global trends in each sector these contexts are brought nearer home within India as she explores and cross references the post liberalization/current situations with the state regulated era until the 1970s termed as the ‘golden age’ though not exactly the best the period was nonetheless amenable to change with the state regulating relations between capital and labour, wherein recognition of worker’s rights too followed. All the sectors now show the brunt borne due to the various ...

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