In developing countries, the theorising of economics tends to overlook the gendered economic and extra-economic ground realities. On the one hand, India is embellished with women as magnificent sharks; besides, the “Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy” shows a harrowing picture of women participation in the rural labour force.
The market, community and household combine and simultaneously compete to control the labor of women in various ways. The benefits of such control to all of these entities are ubiquitous and myriad at macro, meso and micro levels, and operate through several interlinked ways and methods.
Firstly, upholding a particular form of household with the women, combining the role of the chief caregiver as well as “emergency” but secondary earner during the times of distress ensures cheap reproduction of labour power with women as the proverbial reserve army.
Secondly, the subordination of women takes place within....