Photo Essay: India’s Working Women

Indian society is hierarchical, with rankings according to caste (or caste-like group), class, wealth, and power.

On this uneven playing field, Indian women face even greater barriers, especially when it comes to employment opportunities. A common belief is that a woman working outside the home is “slightly inappropriate, subtly wrong, and definitely dangerous to their chastity and womanly virtue.”

Nevertheless, Indian women do work – although much of their work is not documented or accounted for in official statistics. Some studies estimate that as much as 90% of all Indian women work in the informal sector: plowing fields and harvesting crops, weaving and making handicrafts, selling food and gathering wood.

As I traveled around the country, women were working everywhere. Here’s what I saw:

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 and is filed under Asia Pacific.

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