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2022 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

2. The Covid-19 Pandemic: Narratives of Informal Women Workers in Indian Punjab

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Abstract

COVID-19 is a health pandemic which has afflicted 216 regions of the world and caused more than 3.3 million deaths till date. Simultaneously, the countrywide lockdowns and quarantine measures implemented to control the spread of the virus have resulted in a host of negative socio-economic repercussions including heightened economic vulnerability, business closures and increased health risks for the most marginalised groups in society.
Fußnoten
1
“Coronavirus lockdown: The Indian migrants dying to get home,” BBC. 2020, accessed June 10, 2020, https://​www.​bbc.​co.​uk/​news/​world-asia-india-52672764.
 
2
Thomas Hale, Noam Angrist, Rafael Goldszmidt, Beatriz Kira, Anna Petherick, Toby Phillips, Samuel Webster, Emily Cameron-Blake, Laura Hallas, Saptarshi Majumdar, and Helen Tatlow. “A global panel database of pandemic policies.” Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020, https://​www.​bsg.​ox.​ac.​uk/​research/​research-projects/​covid-19-government-response-tracker.
 
3
“Unemployment in India.” Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy, 2020, accessed May 20, 2020, https://​unemploymentinin​dia.​cmie.​com.
 
4
Surbhi Kesar, Rosa Abraham, Rahul Lahoti, Paaritosh Nath, and Amit Basole, “Pandemic, informality, and vulnerability: Impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods in India,” Canadian Journal of Development Studies 42, no. 1–2 (2021): 146.
 
5
“Periodic Labour Force Survey (2018–19).” Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2018–19, accessed June 6, 2020, http://​mospi.​nic.​in/​Periodic-Labour-Surveys.
 
6
Clare Wenham, Julia Smith, and Rosemary Morgan. “Covid-19: The gendered impacts of the outbreak,” Lancet 395, no. 10227 (2020): 846.
 
7
Denis, S. Mileti, Disasters by design: A reassessment of natural hazard in the United States (Washington, DC: Joseph Henry, 1999): 27.
 
8
Patricia Hill Collins, Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness and the politics of empowerment (Boston, MA: Unwin Hyman, 1990): 137.
 
9
Naila Kabeer, Shahra Razavi, and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, “Feminist Economic Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Feminist Economics 27, no. 1–2 (2021): 28.
 
10
Sylvia Chant, “Exploring the feminization of poverty in relation to women’s work and home-based enterprise in slums of the global south,” International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship 6, no. 3 (2014): 294.
 
11
Amartya Sen, Inequality reexamined (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992): 24.
 
12
Sylvia Chant, “Women, girls and world poverty: Empowerment, equality or essentialism?” International Development Planning Review 38, no. 1 (2016): 23.
 
13
Nadia Singh, “Gender, intra-household discrimination and cash transfer schemes: The case of Indian Punjab,” Economies 75, no. 7 (2019): 1.3, accessed August 2, 2020, https://​www.​mdpi.​com/​2227-7099/​7/​3/​75.
 
14
Esther Duflo, “Grandmothers and granddaughters: Old-age pensions and intrahousehold allocations in South Africa,” World Bank Economic Review 17 (2003): 1–25.
 
15
Bina Agarwal, “Bargaining and gender relations: Within and beyond the household,” Feminist Economics 3, no. 1 (1997): 23.
 
16
Sharon Bessell, “The individual deprivation measure: Measuring poverty as if gender and inequality matter,” Gender and Development 23, no. 2 (2015): 225.
 
17
Jayshree P. Mangubhai and Chiara Capraro, “‘Leave no one behind’ and the challenge of intersectionality: Christian aid’s experience of working with single and Dalit women in India,” Gender & Development 23, no. 2 (2015): 266.
 
18
Rajeni Chagar, “Protection or obstruction? Women and precarious work in India,” Canadian Journal of Development Studies 30, no. 3–4 (2010): 595.
 
19
Jonathan Pattenden, “A neoliberalisation of civil society? Self-help groups and the labouring class poor in rural South India,” The Journal of Peasant Studies 37, no. 3 (2010): 500.
 
20
Thomas de Hoop, Luuk van Kempen, Rik Linssen, and Anouka van Eerdewijk, “Women’s autonomy and subjective well-being: How gender norms shape the impact of self-help groups in Odisha, India,” Feminist Economic 20, no. 3 (2014): 107.
 
21
John Harriss, “Antinomies of empowerment: Observations on civil society, politics and urban governance in India,” Economic and Political Weekly 42, no. 26 (2007): 2716.
 
22
ILO, Women and men in the informal economy: A statistical picture (Geneva: ILO, 2018): 18.
 
23
Elizabeth Hill, “Women in the Indian informal economy: Collective strategies for work life improvement and development,” Work, Employment and Society 15, no. 3 (2001): 447.
 
24
Kalyan Sanyal, Rethinking capitalist development: Primitive accumulation, governmentality and post colonial capitalism (New Delhi: Routledge, 2007): 3–5.
 
25
Judith Butler, Frames of war: When life is grievable (London: Verso Publications, 2009): 1.
 
26
Ariel Salleh, “Green economics or green Utopia: The salience of reproductive labour post Rio + 20,” Journal of World Systems Research 18, no. 2 (2012): 139.
 
27
Martina Ulrichs, “Informality, women and social protection identifying barriers to provide effective coverage,” ODI Working Paper (ODI: London, 2016): 141.
 
28
Periodic Labour Force Survey, Periodic labour force survey, 2017–18 (New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2018): 33.
 
29
Ibid., 27.
 
30
Barbara Harris-White, “Rethinking institutions: Innovation and institutional change in India's informal economy,” Modern Asian Studies 51, no. 6 (2018): 1727.
 
31
Baruah Bipasha, “Earning their keep and keeping what they earn: A critique of organizing strategies for South Asian women in the informal sector,” Gender, Work and Organization 11, no. 6 (2004).
 
32
Naila Kabeer, Kirsty Milward, and Ratna Sudarshan, “Organising women workers in the informal economy,” Gender and Development 21, no. 2 (2013): 253.
 
33
Usha, V.T., Kerala’s gendered response to the pandemic (New Delhi: Global South and Rosa Luxemburg Institute, 2021): 37.
 
34
Andrew Sayer, Realism and social science (London: Sage, 2000): 31–33.
 
35
Georgia Zozeta-Miliopoulou and Ilias Kapareliotis, “The toll of success: Female leaders in the ‘women friendly’ Greek advertising agencies,” Gender, Work and Organisation (2021): 114.
 
36
Jenny K. Rodrigeuz, Evangelina Holvino, Joyce K. Fletcher and Stella. M. Nkomo, “The theory and praxis of intersectionality in work and organisations: Where do we go from here?” Gender, Work and Organisation 2, no. 3 (2016): 214.
 
37
Yvona S. Lincoln and Egon G. Guba, Naturalistic inquiry (New York: Sage, 1985): 3–5.
 
38
Eleven of our interview respondents comprised of SC women. These were not purposely chosen by the researcher, but may be reflective of the socio-economic structure of the Punjabi economy. Punjab has the highest proportion of Scheduled Caste (SC) communities. They constitute 28% of Punjab’s population at present (Census of India, 2011). Poverty in Punjab is concentrated disproportionately among the SC population in both rural and urban areas. On the basis of estimates of monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE), 27.2% of the SC population in rural areas and 35.3% of the population in urban areas in Punjab are estimated to be below the poverty line, as compared to only 1.5% for the general population (NSSO, 2017–18).
 
39
Alan Bryman and Emma Bell, “Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide,” in Business Research Methods, ed. Alan Bryman and Emma Bell (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003): 465–478.
 
40
Michael Quinn Patton, Qualitative research and evaluation methods (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 2015): 26–27.
 
41
W. Cresswell John and Vicki L. Plano Clark, Designing and conducting mixed method research (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage): 11–12.
 
42
Ibid., 37.
 
43
Sharan B. Merriam, “Qualitative research: Designing, implementing, and publishing a study,” in Handbook of research on scholarly publishing and research methods, ed. Victor Wang (Hershey, PA: IG Global, 2015): 125–140.
 
44
Shubhda Arora and Mrinmoy Majumder, “Where is my home? Gendered precarity and the experience of COVID-19 among women migrant workers from Delhi and National Capital Region, India,” Gender, Work and Organization (2021): 13.
 
45
This respondent received full wages because she had contracted the coronavirus infection from her employer’s daughter, when she had gone to receive her at the airport.
 
46
“COVID-19 government order tracker,” GOI, 2020, accessed June 1, 2020, https://​covid-india.​in.
 
47
Erica Field et al., “On her own account: How strengthening women’s financial control impacts labor supply and gender norms.” Yale Centre for Economic Growth, 2019, accessed May 12, 2019, https://​elischolar.​library.​yale.​edu/​egcenter-discussion-paper-series/​1076.
 
48
Naila Kabeer, “Gender, poverty, and inequality: A brief history of feminist contributions in the field of international development,” Gender & Development 23, no. 2 (2015): 203.
 
49
Ashwini Deshpande, “What does work from home mean for women?” Economic and Political Weekly 55, no. 21 (2020): 7.
 
50
Karen Bell, “Bread and roses: A gender perspective on environmental justice and public health,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13, no. 10 (2016): 1005.
 
51
Erin C. Lentz, “Complicating narratives of women’s food and nutrition insecurity: Domestic violence in rural Bangladesh,” World Development 104 (2018): 275.
 
52
According to the provisions of this scheme, SC households in rural areas of Punjab are provided 35 kgs of rice/wheat, along with ½ kg pulses, 1 kg sugar and 100 gm tea per month through free price ration shops (Government of Punjab, 2020).
 
53
NFHS-4. 2015–16. National family health survey (Mumbai: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India, 2017): 31–33.
 
54
Ibid., 13.
 
55
Ibid., 48.
 
56
Kerry Hamilton and Linda Jenkins, “A gender audit for public transport: A new policy tool in the tackling of social exclusion,” Urban Studies 37 (2000): 1797.
 
57
ITDP, Women and transport in Indian cities (New Delhi: Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, 2017): 57.
 
58
“Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family planning and ending gender-based violence, female genital mutilation and child marriage,” UNFPA, 2020, accessed May 19, 2020, https://​www.​unfpa.​org/​sites/​default/​files/​resource-pdf/​COVID-19_​impact_​brief_​for_​UNFPA_​24_​April_​2020_​1.​pdf.
 
59
Ibid., 46.
 
60
Le Kien and My Nguyen, “Shedding light on maternal education and child health in development countries,” World Development (2020): 105005.
 
61
V.S. Saravanan, “Contestations and negotiations of urban health in India: A situated political approach,” World Development 104 (2018): 377.
 
62
Ibid., 50.
 
63
NSSO, Key indicators of social consumption in India: Health (New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2017–18): 58.
 
64
Ibid., 44.
 
65
Sonalde Desai, Neerad Deshmukh, and Santanu Parmanik, “Precarity in a time of uncertainty: Gendered employment patterns during the COVID-19 lockdown in India,” Feminist Economics 27, no. 1 (2021): 171.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
The Covid-19 Pandemic: Narratives of Informal Women Workers in Indian Punjab
verfasst von
Nadia Singh
Areet Kaur
Copyright-Jahr
2022
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-93228-2_2

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