Women Empowerment – A Comparative Case Study among Agricultural and Coir Industry Wage Labourers
Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology,
A comparative study was conducted among randomly selected Agricultural and Coir Industry women wage Labourers of Sonitpur district, Assam, India during 2012-13 to find out whether more economic empowerment of women is able to change the status of women in society or still customs and values play a role to assign status of a person thorough field survey and questioner methods. It was found that the agricultural wage labourers had more children than that of the coir industry wage labourers. It was because of preference for male child and lesser control over choices. Though they didn’t want to have another child, the preference and inability to take the decisions along with their husbands led to more children. The decision making authority was solely with the male partners. Whereas, the coir industry wage labourers had some power with their husbands to take decisions like family planning. Those decisions had an impact on the family income and expenditure. The family income of the coir industry wage labourers were higher than that of the agricultural wage labourers and having lesser children had positive impact on the children’s education and nutritional supply in the families. The coir industry wage labourers were comparatively more educated than the agricultural wage labourers. This also helped them to go for family planning. With extra income, the coir industry labourers were able to spend more in nutritious food, education for children and the expenses on the alcoholic items were cut down as came up in the study vis-a-vis the agricultural wage labours. The agricultural wage labourers were new in the field of savings. Very recently they had started savings and they didn’t have any bank deposits rather they saved very small amounts with Self Help Groups (SHG). The coir industry wage labourers also had savings with SHGs and very few had deposits in banks. However, the concept of saving was new to them. The household items of the agricultural labourers’ house didn’t include electricity, but most of them had mobile phones. Nevertheless, the coir industry labourers were well equipped with household items necessary for better sustenance. Economic self-sufficiency and education, use of technology, exposure to the outer world, decision making etc. determined the amount of empowerment. The agricultural labourers were comparatively lacking in empowerment than the coir industry labourers in Tezpur sub-division of Sonitpur district of Assam, India.
- Wage labourers
- coir industry
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