Contribution of the Unpaid Family Labour in the Handloom Sector of Textile Industry in West Bengal

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Indian Journal of Labour Economics


The so-called labour force survey or employment and unemployment survey or census does not account for the unpaid works which are mainly performed by the women. Here is an attempt to access the women’s unpaid work within the production realm; the extent of their contribution in the productivity sector in terms of both money and time where the works they perform remains unnoticed. The result shows that unpaid female labour are contributing a commendable share to the total income generated from the handloom sector in the family (in terms of money). 26% of unpaid female labour contribute more than 50% to the total income generated from the handloom sector, while percentage point of male for this is 16. Time allocation differs by gender in paid and unpaid work. Using the Lorenz curve, male and female relative inequality in spending time within each group has been found. Women form a more heterogeneous group when time spent in paid activity is considered. The Gini coefficient for this group is 0.6, while for male it is 0.12. The graph shows that 50% of women allocate 10% of their total time for paid works, whereas this share of time in unpaid work is about 35%. The Lorenz curve shows the share of total time spent in each activity accumulated up to certain share of population. Regression analysis confirms that male members of the family have more likelihood to be in main weaving activities which are often marked as paid job and females are engaged themselves in the allied works of weaving which are often not remunerated properly or remain unpaid.

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