Structural Adjustment Programme and Women's Employment-An Overview

In response to the balance of payments problems, restructuring economies on the recommendation of the World Bank and IMF is taking place all over the world. India embarked on the path of economic reforms in 1991. In fact, from the early eighties distinct policy changes were introduced in the Indian economy in this direction. This restructuring of the economy is expected to affect people's lives in various ways. The main purpose of the present exercise is to review the studies which assess the impact of these policies on the employment of women in India. The study is divided into four sections. Section-I examines some of the constraints faced by women while competing with men in the labour market, along with brief discussion of certain approaches to achieve gender justice. Section-II highlights the trends and nature of female employment and its impact on female work burden. In Section-III, related aspects of female employment such as wages and earnings, social security and empowerment are discussed. Section-IV gives the main conclusions and policy implications.

May 1999

Economic Policy, Gender