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Status of Women Agricultural Workers in West Bengal during the Post-Reform Period

Social Work Chronicle

Volume 1 Issue 1

Published: 2012
Author(s) Name: Dr. Anindita Sengupta
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Abstract

This paper investigates the correlates of work-participation of women cultivators and women agricultural labourers in the districts of West Bengal during the post reform period. It also examines whether there has been any change in the relative significance of the explanatory factors over the first decade of economic reforms. The work-participation function of women cultivators and that of women agricultural labourers are estimated. An inter-temporal cross-section regression method has been used in order to determine the proximate explanatory factors behind the work-participation of women cultivators and that of women agricultural labourers. The econometric analysis regarding the work-participation of women cultivators reveals that ‘percentage share of irrigated area in net sown area in a district’ and ‘urbanization index of a district’ are the most significant explanatory factors throughout the whole period. However, the results indicate increase in the significance of ‘percentage share of working-age women population in total rural women population in a district’ and decrease in the significance of ‘percentage share of area under marginal landholding in total operational landholding in a district’, ‘cropping intensity of a district’ and ‘rate of rural male out-migration from a district’ as explanatory factors from 1991 to 2001. Again, the econometric analysis regarding the work-participation of women agricultural labourers shows that ‘percentage share of working-age women population in total rural women population in a district’, ‘cropping intensity of a district’ and ‘percentage share of irrigated area in net sown area in a district’ are the most significant explanatory factors throughout the whole period. However, the results indicate increase in the significance of ‘percentage share of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women in total women population the rural areas of a district’ and ‘percentage share of area under foodgrain cultivation in net sown area of a district’ and decrease in the significance of ‘rate of rural male out-migration from a district’ as explanatory factors from 1991 to 2001.

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