A first-of-its-kind study of the city’s unorganised sector found that a 10% increase in wages pushes the women to put in 28% extra working hours. Of the women surveyed, 55% were domestic workers.
The study also revealed that on an average, women — self-employed, casual or regular workers — work for 6.5 hours and earn Rs23 per hour (less than Rs19 in 50% cases) while men work for 10.4 hours and earn Rs31 per hour.
Also, women heading households put in five to seven additional hours per day in order to sustain themselves.
Conducted by Neeraj Hatekar, an economics professor at the University of Mumbai, Kishor More, a research associate at MU, and Abodh Kumar, a professor at Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune, the survey says, “If men’s wages increase faster than women’s in the future, the labour hours supplied by women relative to men will fall.”
“In a global scenario, men have better chances to upgrade their skills and switch to higher wages,” said Hatekar. The researchers insisted that it might be important to examine the possibility of a policy that allows women to eventually shift to more remunerative jobs.
AL Sharda, director of Population First, an NGO which works for women’s rights, said, “The trend is the same in the organised sector as well. Working women spend many hours taking care of households; this goes unrecognised. It drains them physically, mentally and emotionally.”