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Women Empowerment through Employment Guarantee Scheme: A Study with Special Reference to Kashmir Valley

Author(s): Dr. Abdul Azeez N. P.
Abstract:
Women Empowerment through Employment Guarantee Scheme: A Study with Special Reference to Kashmir Valley
Author
Dr. Abdul Azeez N.P.
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics,
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Publication Month and Year: February 2020
Pages: 185
E-BOOK ISBN: 978-93-90002-00-9
Academic Publications
C-11, 169, Sector-3, Rohini, Delhi, India
Website: www.publishbookonline.com
Email: publishbookonline@gmail.com
Phone: +91-9999744933
Funding Acknowledgement
This book is Prepared by Author from the
Project Supported and Financed by the
Central University of Kashmir
Acknowledgment
All praise is due to Almighty Allah who is the ultimate source of knowledge, a part of which he reveals to man and peace be upon all his messengers throughout the world for guidance and success of mankind.
Prefacing this project has provided me with the much awaited opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude and admiration to Prof. G.M. Bhat, Dean School of Social Sciences and Head, Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir, for his able guidance and sincere cooperation. His scholarly and bountiful advice, motivation, experienced judgment, constructive criticism and substantive comments encouraged me to keep thinking throughout the course of investigation and so lavishly endowed in this work. His generosity in sharing his thoughts and giving me his precious time is acknowledged with my sincere thanks and tender my heartfelt respect.
I express my deep sense of regards and gratitude to other faculty members and my collogues like Mr. Tasvir Ahmad Bhat, Dr. Malik Yasir Ahmad, Dr. Showkat Anwar Bhat, Mr. Tasleem Araf Cash, Dr. Aasif Hussain Nengroo from Department of Economics and Mr. Burhan Majid, Department of law, Central University of Kashmir, for their contribution to my intellectual growth and inspiration and their critical remarks and suggestions. Their constant guidance and advice are truly praiseworthy. I am also greatly indebted to all the scholars and authors whose works have been consulted or used in one or other way, in this work. I am also thankful to my beloved students in the Department of Economics for their support and help.
I am thankful to the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar, Central University of Kashmir for providing me the necessary guidance and financial support during the course of my study. I would also like to thank all the staffs of the office, Academic Section and Finance Section, Central University of Kashmir for their kind cooperation.
Last but not least, I deserve special thanks to my wife and son. They allowed me to devote a great amount of time for my project course- the time that I would normally have spent with them. Without their constant inspiration this work could never been fulfilled. They have always been motivating me for this work without which it would have been difficult for me to complete this work. Thus, this project is dedicated to them.
Dr. Abdul Azeez N.P.
Contents
S. No.ChaptersPage No.
1.Chapter - 101-26
1.1Background03
1.2Background of implementation of MGNREGS06
1.3Status of women in India10
1.4Status of women in Jammu & Kashmir13
1.5The way towards women empowerment under MGNREGS14
1.6Origin of the research problem17
1.7Relevance of the study19
1.8Objectives of the study19
1.9Hypotheses of the study20
1.10Sources of data and methodology20
1.11Study area23
1.11Limitations of study24
2.Chapter - 2
Literature Review27-41
3.Chapter - 3
Women Empowerment through MGNREGS: Provisions, Participation and Problems43-67
3.1Provisions for women participation under MGNREGS45
3.2Participation of women: national scenario51
3.3Women participation in Jammu and Kashmir57
District-wise analysis59
Divisional-wise analysis61
3.4Social and economic fallouts for women through MGNREGS63
4.Chapter - 4
Factors Determining Participation of Women under MGNREGS69-85
4.1Econometric modeling72
4.2Personal factors72
4.3Promoting factors76
4.4Hindering factors80
5.Chapter - 5
Women Participation and Empowerment87-117
5.1Economic empowerment of women through MGNREGS89
5.2Social empowerment of women92
5.3Women empowerment index: methodology95
Indicators of economic empowerment index96
Indicators of social empowerment index97
Indicators of political empowerment index98
Composite women empowerment index98
5.4Economic empowerment index99
5.5Social empowerment index (SEI)105
5.6Political empowerment index110
5.7Composite women empowerment index115
6.Chapter - 6
Evaluation of MGNREGS in Kashmir Valley (Primary Data Analysis)119-145
6.1Profile of women MGNREGS workers121
6.2Survey analysis123
Awareness generation124
Registration & Job cards127
Employment129
Wage payments135
Bank related information in MGNREGS140
Migration144
7.Chapter - 7
Conclusions and Suggestions147-157
7.1Major findings149
7.2Suggestions and Recommendations153
References159-171
Appendices173-185
List of Tables
Table No.Chapter - 1Page No.
Table 1.1Milestones of the Indian journey towards MGNREGA (1952-2009)09
Table 1.2Sample framework23
Chapter - 3
Table 3.1Women participation under MGNREGS-national scenario53
Table 3.2Women participation of major states under MGNREGS54
Table 3.3Women participation-national scenario and J&K58
Table 3.4District-wise women participation in Jammu and Kashmir60
Table 3.5Women participation-Jammu division62
Table 3.6Women participation-Kashmir division63
Table 3.7Women participation-Ladakh division63
Chapter - 4
Table 4.1Summary of personal factors respondents73
Table 4.2Results of logit estimates of personal factors of participation75
Table 4.3Number of respondent supported promoting factors77
Table 4.4Results of logit estimates of promoting factors of participation78
Table 4.5Number of respondent supported factors82
Table 4.6Results of logit estimates of hindering factors of participation83
Chapter - 5
Table 5.1Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Badgam district100
Table 5.2Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Baramulla district101
Table 5.3Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kulgam district101
Table 5.4Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Srinagar district102
Table 5.5Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kargil district103
Table 5.6Economic empowerment index of women respondents104
Table 5.7Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Badgam district105
Table 5.8Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Baramulla district106
Table 5.9Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kulgam district107
Table 5.10Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Srinagar district108
Table 5.11Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kargil district109
Table 5.12Social empowerment index of women respondents110
Table 5.13Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Badgam district111
Table 5.14Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Baramulla district111
Table 5.15Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kulgam district112
Table 5.16Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Srinagar district113
Table 5.17Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kargil district114
Table 5.18Political empowerment index of women respondents114
Table 5.19Composite women empowerment index115
Chapter - 6
Table 6.1Distribution of demographic traits of respondents122
Table 6.2Awareness about MGNREGS124
Table 6.3Reasons for working under MGNREGS125
Table 6.4Awareness about various provisions of MGNREGS125
Table 6.5Year of registration127
Table 6.6Have you received job cards?128
Table 6.7Time lag between date of registration and receipt of job cards128
Table 6.8Possession of job cards129
Table 6.9Unemployment allowance for beyond 15 days in getting employment130
Table 6.10Number of days employed131
Table 6.11Various items of work132
Table 6.12Quality of work132
Table 6.13Distance from the residence to the place of work133
Table 6.14Facilities made available at the worksite134
Table 6.15Who provides the tools for the work?134
Table 6.16Is the tools worker’s friendly?135
Table 6.17Have you faced any problem at the worksite?135
Table 6.18Wage rate under MGNREGS136
Table 6.19Whether the wage rates are the same for men and women?137
Table 6.20Mode of payment of wage137
Table 6.21Is there any problem in withdrawing the cash from the bank?138
Table 6.22Was there any delay in payment of wages?138
Table 6.23Time lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wages139
Table 6.24Whether there is any board established at the worksite?139
Table 6.25Whether the wage rate mentioned on the board?141
Table 6.26Year of opening account141
Table 6.27Distance from the residence to bank or post office142
Table 6.28Who opened your account?142
Table 6.29Do you have to pay to open your bank account?143
Table 6.30Do you put your signature on any paper when you went to collect your wages?143
Table 6.31Migration before introduction of MGNREGA144
Table 6.32Reasons for migration145
Table 6.33Migration after introduction of MGNREGA145
List of Figures
Fig No.Chapter - 3Page No.
Fig 3.1Women participation under MGNREGS-national scenario53
Fig 3.2Women participation in major states55
Fig 3.3Women participation (India and JK)59
Fig 3.4Women participation in J & K during 2014-15 (district-wise)61
Fig 3.5Women participation (division-wise)63
Abbreviations
AAYAntyodaya Anna Yojana
ADSArea Development Society
APLAbove Poverty Line
ATMAutomated Teller Machine
BPLBelow Poverty Line
CAGRCompound Annual Growth Rate
CDPCommunity Development Programme
CDSCommunity Development Society
CEGCCentral Employment Guarantee Council
CRDCommissionerate of Rural Development
CRSECrash Scheme for Rural employment
CSOCentral Statistical Organization
CVCoefficient of Variance
DDPDesert Development Programme
DPAPDrought Prone Area Programme
DPCDistrict Programme Coordinator
DRDDepartment of Rural Development
DWCRADevelopment of Women and Children in Rural Areas
EASEmployment Assurance Scheme
EGSEmployment Guarantee Scheme
FGDFocus Group Discussion
FWPFood for Work Programme
GDPGross Domestic Product
GPGrama Panchayat
GRSGram Rozgar Sahayak
HDIHuman Development Index
HPIHuman Poverty Index
IAMRInstitute of Applied Manpower Research
IAYIndira Awas Yojana
IRDPIntegrated Rural Development Programme
JGSYJawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana
JRYJawahar Rozgar Yojana
LSGLocal Self Government
MDGMillennium Development Goal
MFALMarginal Farmers and Agricultural Labour Scheme
MGNREGAMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
MGNREGSMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
MISManagement Information System
MRDMinistry of Rural Development
MSPMalabar Special Police
NABARDNational Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
NACNational Advisory Council
NFFWPNational Food for Work Program
NGONon-Governmental Organization
NHGNeighbour Hood Group
NREPNational Rural Employment Programme
NRHMNational Rural Health Mission
NRYNehru Rozgar Yojana
OMIOut-Migration
PDSPublic Distribution System
PIREPPilot Intensive Rural Employment Programme
PMGSYPradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
POPost Office
PRIPanchayati Raj Institutions
RIDFRural Infrastructure Development Fund
RLEGPRural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme
RMPRural Man Power
RNFERural Non-Farm Employment
ROMReturn Out-Migration
RRBRegional Rural Bank
RSBYRashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
RTIRight to Information
SBIState Bank of India
SCScheduled Caste
SDStandard Deviation
SDPState Domestic Product
SHGSelf-Help Group
SORSchedule of Rate
SPSSStatistical Package for Social Science
STScheduled Tribe
SGRYSampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana
SJGSYSwarna Jayanthi Grama Swarozgar Yojana
UCOUnited Commercial Bank
UNDPUnited Nation Development Programme
VLWVillage Level Worker
Chapter - 1
Introduction
Chapter - 1
Introduction
Background
The past century has been marked by the transformation of India from a colonial agrarian economy into a modern industrialized, knowledge based economy within the framework of a liberal and secular democracy. Indeed, India is on the threshold of great power status. Commentators both at home and abroad are extolling India’s dramatic rise. Goldman Sachs Economic Research Report on Global Economics (2007) even speaks of India becoming the second largest economy after China by 2050. India is now getting used to its much higher rate of growth (8 percent) and occasionally touching even 9 percent. In the last quarter of financial year 2006-07, the economy grew at 9.7 percent. As a consequences of this, sustained span of economic expansion, the country now boast of middle class variously estimated between 150-300 million. There is a long list of achievements, sufficient enough to be celebrated and to hope that the dream of great power status is now a probability. However, before one join the chorus of celebration, it is desirable to take into account of poverty and unemployment of the country. Being peripheral to the mainstream economy, the rural communities have benefited very little from the growth and development occurring in the ‘shining’ enclave in India. After six decades of Independence, agricultural growth continuous to remain anemic, farmer, trapped in poverty’ the poor prefer urban slums to stagnant villages and the rural communities lack basic facilities like schools and health centres.
As the foundations of Indian freedom movement were built upon economic nationalism conceptualized around the correlation between colonization and pauperization of the Indian masses, it was obvious that the issues of mass poverty will find prominence in the planning for re-construction of Indian polity and economy after freedom. Since independence, the Government of India has implemented several schemes in its all five year plans for the improvement of rural poor and weaker section of society. Most of the plan has focused on agriculture, industry, defence, unemployment, and poverty eradication, development of villages, and cottage industry, mobilization of natural resources. Despite its several programme and progress the reality is that illiterate, perception of gender inequality, relative low life expectancy, existence of large unemployment, large people still below poverty line, malnutrition and anemia, lack of safe drinking water and other basic amenities continues. The need for enhancement of livelihood arises taking into consideration of all the factors of production and distribution of productive assets and productive abilities. The economy is not in a position to automatic generating of livelihood for all those who seek it; our country has surplus labour power but insufficient capital for investment. The pathos of Indian story is that 220-230 million of our people which is twenty two percent of total population, are poor, according to latest findings of National Sample Survey. The estimates of Tendulkar Committee (2009) also show that, between 1993-94 and 2004-05, aggregate poverty head count ratio of India has fallen only marginally from 45.3 percent to 37.2 percent. Similarly the rural poverty has declined from 50.1 percent to 41.8 percent only and urban poverty has declined from 31.8 percent to 25.7 percent.
According to the Ministry of Rural Development, India has been a welfare state ever since her Independence and the primary objective of all governmental endeavour, has been the welfare of its million, planning has been one of the pillars of Indian policy since Independence and the country’s strength is derived from the achievement of planning. The policies and programmes have been designed to alleviate rural poverty, one of the primary objectives of planned development in India. It was realized that a sustained strategy of poverty alleviation has to be based on increasing the productive employment opportunities in the process of growth itself. Elimination of poverty, ignorance, disease and inequalities of opportunities and providing a better and higher quality of life were the basic premise upon which all the plans and blueprints of development were built. In India basically three rules have been adopted to achieve objective of full employment i.e. economic growth, micro economic policies, and special employment generation programme. The unemployment has become a global problem and it has brought serious economic problem particularly in developing countries. The problem of unemployment in developing countries differs from that of the developed countries. The unemployment in developed countries is merely a social problem rather than an economic curse. In developing countries unemployment differ from the develop countries in its origin, form and composition. The unemployment problem is always been a challenging and frustrating problem to the economists and administrators basically in developing countries. Developing countries try to develop rapidly with their limited resources but they fail due to inability to compete with the other developed countries. The unemployment problem in developing countries is multidimensional; it has both social and economic implications that are universally recognized. So that India adopted special employment generation scheme as one of the policy to achieve the goal of economic growth and elimination of poverty, inequalities and unemployment.
However, the basic weakness in our employment performance is the failure of the Indian economy to create a sufficient volume of additional high quality employment to absorb the new entrants in to the labour force while also facilitating the absorption of surplus labour that currently exist in the agricultural sector, into higher wage, non-agricultural employment. A successful transition to inclusive growth requires migration of such surplus workers to other areas for productive and gainful employment in the organized or unorganized sector. Women agricultural workers in families where the male head has migrated, also requires special attention given the need for credit and other inputs if they are self-employed in agriculture or for wage employment if they do not have land.
In a rural agrarian labour surplus economy especially, most of them has zero or negative marginal productivity; section of rural population depends on the wage they earn through unskilled, casual, manual labour. They are vulnerable to the possibility of sinking from transient to chronic poverty in the event of inadequate labour demand or in the face of unpredictable crises that may be general in nature, like natural disaster or personal, like ill-health, all of which adversely impact their employment opportunities. In the context of poverty and unemployment workfare programme have been important programme intervention in developed as well as developing countries for many years. These programmes typically provide unskilled manual workers with short-term employment on public work such as irrigation infrastructures, afforestation, soil conservation and road construction. The rationale for workfare programmes rests on some basic considerations. The programmes provide income transfer to poor household during critical times and therefore enable consumption smoothing especially during slack agricultural seasons or years. In countries with high unemployment rate transfer benefit from workfare programmes can prevent poverty from worsening, especially during learn periods. Durable assets that these programmes may create have the potential to generate a second round of employment benefits as necessary infrastructure is developed. Workfare programmes have been important programme interventions in India and elsewhere in developing countries since long. These programmes typically provide unskilled workers with short-term employment on public works. They provide income transfer to poor households during periods when they suffer on account of absence of opportunities of employment. In areas with high unemployment rates and under employment, transfer benefits from workfare programmes can prevent poverty from worsening especially during learn periods.
Background of implementation of MGNREGS
The need to evolve a mechanism to supplement existing livelihood sources in rural areas was recognized early during development planning in India. The study of poverty in India by Dandekar and Rath (1971) proved to be the turning point for study and analysis as they provided useful definition of poverty as well as meaningful details about the incidence and severity of poverty in rural and urban settings in India. It coincided with the call of eradicating poverty (Garibi Hatao) by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the historical mid-term general elections of 1971, Planning Commission itself had said in its approach paper of the Fifth plan “the elimination of abject poverty will not be attained as a corollary to a certain acceleration in the rate of growth of the economy alone. It will be necessary to launch a direct attack on the problems of unemployment, underemployment and massive low end poverty”. It gave her grand success with clear mandate for the promise to fight poverty and unemployment. The government implemented workfare programme that offered wage employment on public work on minimum wages. The wage employment programmes started as pilot project in the form of Rural Manpower (RMP) [1960-61], Crash Scheme for Rural Employment (CRSE) [1971-72], Pilot Intensive Rural Employment Programme (PIREP) [1972], Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA), Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labour Scheme (MFALS) to the poorest of the poor. These experiments were translated into a full-fledged wage-employment programme in 1977 in the form of Food for Work Programme (FWP). During 1980s this programme was further streamlined into the National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) and Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY 1993-94), Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS). The EAS and Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) were merged into the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana from 2001-02. The Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) was merged with JGSY, Integrated Rural Development Programm (IRDP) which merged with five other scheme- TRESEM, DWCRA, SITRA, Ganga Kalyan Yojana and MWS have been merged with a new scheme introduced namely Swarna Jayanthi Grama Swarojgar Yojana (SJGSY) in 1999. These wage-employment programmes implemented by the state governments with centre’s assistance were self-targeting, and the objective was to provide enhanced livelihood security, especially of those dependent on casual manual labour. At the state level, the Government of Maharashtra formulated the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme (MEGS) and Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act, 1977 to provide wage-employment to those who demanded it. In the wake of economic liberalization and adjustments and in order to provide a safety net, especially for the rural poor, top priority has been accorded to rural development through introduction of new programmes and restructuring of the existing ones. The Ministry of Rural Development is committed to eradicating poverty and hunger from the rural India and to usher in all round development of rural masses. As such there has been a paradigm shift in the policy of rural development, as the rural poor are treated as resources that form an integral part of the development strategy.
Thus, we have a long history and experience in implementing wage employment programmes and poverty alleviation programmes. Giving a statutory framework to wage employment programme-based on the experience of these programmes, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was enacted to reinforce the commitment towards livelihood security in rural areas in 2005 expressing the consensus of the state to use fiscal and legal instruments to address the challenges of unemployment and poverty. The Act was notified on 7thSeptember, 2005 in which the ongoing programmes of Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGSY-2001) and National Food for Work Programme (NFFWP-2004) were subsumed within the scheme. It was “an Act to provide for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in the rural area of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members’ volunteers to do unskilled manual work and for matters connected or incidental thereto…” (NREGA-2005). Besides employment generation, the objective of the scheme is to create durable community assets for strengthening of the livelihood source on sustainable basis. It serves as a social safety net by providing a source of guaranteed employment as such it is an “employer of last resort”. The NREGA achieves twin objectives of rural development and employment. The significance of NREGA lies in the fact that it creates a right-based framework for wage employment programmes and makes the government legally accountable for providing employment to those who ask for it. A well- designed employment guarantee programme can, under favourable circumstances, promote job creation, gender equality and pro-poor development. The NREGA has great potential for increasing the volume of employment among the rural unemployed and underemployed. It provides ample opportunities for creating rural public asset, which has been largely neglected. It helps to enhance the purchasing power of rural households, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation. It also has the capacity to tap the hitherto under-utilized labour of women in developing rural India. By providing equal wages to both men and women, NREGA upholds the social position and integrity of women and thus promotes gender equality (Rania Antonopoulos-2009) [5]. In this way, the legislation goes beyond providing a social safety net towards guaranteeing the right to employment.
It is a first ever law internationally, that guarantees wage employment at an unprecedented scale with the objective of strengthening natural resources management through works that address cause of chronic poverty like drought, deforestation and soil erosion and so encourage sustainable development. In this way, the legislation goes beyond providing a social safety net, and towards guaranteeing the right to employment. What is considered to be crucial is the empowerment of the poor through the provision of a right-based law, which would act as a strong safety net in the lack of alternative employment opportunities for the people. The other key attributes of this scheme are time bound guarantee, labour-intensive work, decentralized participatory planning, women empowerment, work site facilities, and above all, transparency and accountability through the provision of social audits and right to information. The process outcomes include strengthening grass root process of democracy and infusing transparency and accountability in governance. Today, the NREGA is implemented in the entire country. The process of implementation has proceeded in a various phases. In phase one it was implemented in 200 backward districts of the country, additional 130 district in phase two 2007-08 and remaining 266 districts notified on September 2008 and the scheme has now been extended to all the districts of the country. The programme was dedicated to the ‘Father of the Nation’ from 2nd October 2009, the birth day of Mahatma Gandhi and since then it is known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
MGNREGS can thus be considered as a timely intervention. Even after six decades of India’s Independence, the country still fails to arrest abject poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, social inequality and so on. A legal-binding rights based programme of this kind is expected to bring about a turnaround in the rural economy by eradication of all the above social malice. MGNREGS can improve sustainable rural livelihoods through spill-over effects thereby enabling the poor manage their risks and opportunities effectively. There is no denying of the importance of policy and programme actions for employment generation to ensure food security amongst poor than direct food subsidy strategies (Von Braun, 1995). This ‘Employment of Last Resort’ programme based on government expenditure would be stabilizing and stimulating for the economy by generating guaranteed employment. The rationale for these programmes are based on the premise that the government has an active role to play in promoting full employment in developing economies by assuming the role of the market maker for labour. An exploration on whether the MGNREGS has been able to fulfill its role of being the Indian version of the Keynesian scheme, like the other scheme, brings about a lot of discussions of whether one should see it in the light of merely being an employment generation programme or one should perceive it as that, which shall impact the labour market drastically, providing an opportunity for labourer to not only demand for work but also demand for their right as a collective unit, under the banner of being a worker and not an individual carrying social and political identity tags attached with their names.
Table 1.1: Milestones of the Indian journey towards MGNREGA (1952-2009)
DateMain provisions of Bills/Acts
1952Community Development Programme (CDP)
1960-61Rural Manpower (RMP)
1971-72Crash Scheme for Rural employment (CRSE)
1972Pilot Intensive Rural Employment Programme (PIREP)
1973-76Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labour Scheme (MFAL), Drought-prone Area Programme (DPAP)
1974Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA)
1975Twenty –Point Programme (TPP)
1977Food for Work Programme (FWP) and Antyodaya Programme
1979Training Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM)
1980The National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)
1983Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA)
1989-94Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS), Prime Ministers Rozgar Yojana (PMRY), Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY)
1999-2000The Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) was merged with JGSY was made a rural infrastructure programme, Swarna Jayanthi Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
2001The Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
2004National Food for Work (NFFWP)
7th September 2005Notification of NREGA
2nd February, 2006NREGA introduced in 200 districts
2007NREGA Phase II- Extended to additional 130 Districts.
1st April 2008NREGA Phase III-Extended to cover all districts of India
2nd October 2009NREGA renamed as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
This programme involves the establishment of a federally funded but locally decentralized job creation program as rural public work programme which secures an infinitely elastic demand for labour ensuring simultaneously full employment and price stability. The public works are supposed to play a positive role as income insurance in the presence of seasonality in agrarian labour market (Basu 2011), for building longer term capital assets (Basu 1981), preventing dislocation of families in search of jobs and food (Dreze and Sen 1991), arresting rural-urban migration (Ravallion 1999).
This Act is the most significant legislation of our times in many ways. For the first time, the power elite recognize the people’s right to fight endemic hunger and poverty with dignity, accepting that their labour will be the foundation for infrastructure and economic growth. The rural communities have been given not just a development programme but a regime of rights. The MGNREGA can give people an opportunity to make the entire system truly transparent and accountable. Properly supported, people’s struggles for basic entitlements can, in turn, become the strongest political initiatives to strengthen our democratic fabric. Independent India has to acknowledge the critical role the MGNREGA has played in providing a measure of inclusive growth. It has given people a right to work to re-establish the dignity of labour, to ensure people’s economic and democratic rights and entitlements, to create labour intensive infrastructure and asset, and to build the human resources base of our country. Thus the Act gives hope to those who had all but lost their hope. It has a clear focus on the poorest of poor. It seeks to reach out to those in need of livelihood security. It gives employment, income, livelihood, and a chance to live a life of self-respect and dignity. The government has referred to it as an “Act of the people, by the people and for the people”.
Status of women in India
The Empowerment of women has become one of the most important concerns of 21st century not only at national level but also at the international level. Women empowerment in India is heavily dependent on many different variables that include geographical location (urban/rural), educational status, social status (caste and class), and age. Policies on women empowerment exist at the national, state, and local (Panchayat) levels in many sectors, including employment, health, education, economic opportunities, gender-based violence, and political participation. However, there are significant gaps between policy advancements and actual practice at the community level. One key factor for the gap in implementation of laws and policies to address discrimination, economic disadvantages, and violence against women at the community level is the largely patriarchal structure that governs the community and households in much of India. As such, women and girls have restricted mobility, access to education, access to health facilities, and lower decision-making power, and experience higher rates of violence. Efforts by the Government are on to ensure gender equality but these initiatives alone would not be sufficient to achieve this goal. Society must take initiative to create a climate in which there is no gender discrimination and women have full opportunities of self-decision making and participating in the social, political and economic life of the country with a sense of equality.
India is amongst the fastest growing countries in the world today, with a GDP growth rate of more than 8 percent during the XI plan period. This high level of growth can, however, be sustained only when all sections of the society, especially women become equal partners in the development process. It is well recognised that societies which discriminate by gender tend to experience less rapid economic growth and poverty reduction than societies which treat men and women more equally. Gender equality and empowerment would, thus, need to be a core development goal if the growth planned in the 12th plan has to be achieved.
The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State (Article 15(1)), equality of opportunity (Article 16), and equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)). Women today are trying to understand their position in the society. Women have become increasingly aware of sexual inequalities in every sphere of life and are seeking ways to fight them. The Indian women have cast of their age old shackles of serfdom and male domination. Not-withstanding the remarkable changes in the position of women in free India, there is still a great divergence between the constitutional position and stark reality of deprivation and degradation. Whatever whiff of emancipation has blown in Indian society, has been inhaled and enjoyed by the urban women, their population belonging to the rural areas are still totally untouched by the wind of changes. They still have been living in miserable conditions, steeped in poverty, ignorance, superstition and slavery.
In reality women representatives are ornamental in nature and political consciousness is found lacking among them. They are affected by the caste and class divisions, feudal attitudes, patriarchal nature of the family and village-social, environmental, ethnic, religious separatism and the like. They are members on record only. Allegedly, they are not consulted while taking decision. Thus, women representatives are not free from male dominance in the village administration and no significant change in the power equal is observed in the villages. The women's reservation policy bill is however a very sad story as it is repeatedly being scuttled in parliament. In the Panchayati Raj system, however, women have been given representation as a sign of political empowerment. There are many elected women representatives at the village council level. However, their power is restricted, as it the men who wield all the authority. Their decisions are often over-ruled by the government machinery.
India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with women mainly from the middle class increasingly entering the workforce. The global gender gap Report by the World Economic Forum in 2009 ranked India 114th out of 134 countries for inequality between men and women in the economy, politics, health, and education. On equal economic opportunities and women’s participation in the labour force, India ranked 127th and 122nd respectively. The number of women in the workforce varies greatly from state to state: 21 per cent in Delhi; 23 per cent in Punjab; 65 per cent in Manipur; 71 per cent Chhattisgarh; 76 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh. The diversity of women’s economic opportunities between states is due to the cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of each state. Northern states like Delhi and Punjab lag far behind on gender equality measures, including the alarming sex ratio between men and women (due to son preference and sex-selective abortion), low female literacy levels, and high rates of gender-based violence.
In rural India, women’s economic opportunities remain restricted by social, cultural, and religious barriers. Most notably inheritance laws embedded in Hindu and Shariat civil codes continue to marginalize women in the household and the larger community. Rural women, particularly of lower caste and class, have the lowest literacy rates, and therefore do not have the capacity to negotiate pay or contracts and most often engage in the unorganized sector, self-employment, or in small scale industry. Self-help groups (SHGs) are a widely practiced model for social and economic mobility by NGOs and the government. SHGs provide women with the opportunity to manage loans and savings that can be used by members for varying needs. SHGs also are used to promote social change among the members and the community at large. Members of SHGs have used their experiences as leverage to enter other local institutions such as the Panchayat Khap. Rural, low caste and tribal women also make up 70 per cent of domestic workers in India, a sector which is largely unregulated and unorganized. India’s growing economy has allowed for many upper and middle-class women to enter the workforce, and while poor rural women have little access to education and training, there is a high demand for domestic workers in urban hubs. Domestic workers are mostly illiterate, with little or no negotiating power for wage equity, and are highly vulnerable to exploitation and sexual and physical abuse. There is a movement at the policy level to organize domestic workers and to create laws to regulate minimum wage, working hours, and other measures such as life and health insurance. Currently a national-level taskforce on domestic workers has been formed that will present recommendations to the central government on better enforcement of rights for the many undocumented domestic workers in India. Women are also very visible in the construction sector in India, and like domestic workers are largely unorganized and rely on daily wagers. Women construction workers are mostly poor and illiterate and have little negotiating power. This sector is also unregulated and highly vulnerable to exploitation. Women workers also earn significantly less than men, although women are the ones who do most of the backbreaking work like carrying bricks and other heavy materials on site. On the other end of the spectrum, while India has one of the highest percentages of professional women in the world, those who occupy managerial positions are under 3 percent. Most women work in low administrative positions, and many of the young women migrating to urban centres mostly work in service and retail industries, although more and more women are entering the IT and other technical sectors.
Status of women in Jammu & Kashmir
As per details from Census 2011, Jammu and Kashmir has population of 1.25 crore souls over the figure of 1.01 crore in 2001 census. Total population of Jammu and Kashmir as per 2011 census is 12,548,926 of which male and female are 6,665,561 and 5,883,365 respectively indicating a reduced sex ratio of 883. Female population of State slashed down from 47.15 percent of the total population in 2001 to 46.88 percent in 2011. Jammu and Kashmir’s literacy rate has increased by 13percent in the last decade i.e. from 55percent in 2001 Census to 68percent in the 2011 Census. While female literacy has increased from 42.22 percent in 2001 Census to 58.01percent in 2011. Gender differential still exists both in rural and urban areas but it is comparatively higher in rural areas. This can be attributed to a number of factors viz. lack of access to schools, parents feeling insecure about sending girl children to schools, their engagement in agricultural and other domestic activities etc.
Women are significant contributors to the growing economy. The total work force participation rate in 2011 was 34.47 per cent workers consisting of 48.11 per cent males and 19.11 per cent females. This work force consisted of 26.09 lakh main workers and 11.45 lakh marginal workers. A sectoral breakdown of women workers reveals that 56percent women are cultivators, 5percent are agricultural labourers and 10percent workers in the household industry.
Women constitute around 47 percent of the total population of the State. The development of women, no doubt, has been a part of the development planning process right from inception of Five Year Plans but the shift in approach from welfare to development toward women took place in a focused manner in the 6th and 7th Five Year Plans. The 8thfive year plan promised to ensure that benefits of development do not bypass women. The 9thfive year plan changed the strategy for women from development to empowerment and emphasis on preparation of separate Women Component Plan (WCP) by identifying specific Schemes/Projects having direct bearing on welfare and development of Women. The 10thfive year plan further strengthened the implementation of WCP. Moreover, the Women and Child Development Department in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has also enjoined upon the states to monitor closely the flow of benefits of various schemes for the empowerment of women on regular basis. These initiatives have helped in improving.
The way towards women empowerment under MGNREGS
Empowerment of women as a target of employment programs and other development projects and has won broader approval since 1990s. It is not a simple linear process. But, the experience of numerous programs in the government and the other sector shows that it is indeed possible. Empowerment of women was one of the nine primary objectives of the ninth plan and every effort was made to create an enabling empowerment where women could freely exercise their rights within and outside their home as equal Partner with men.
Several poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes were introduced by different state governments, Union Territories and Government of India. But those schemes not effectively and efficiently worked to reduce poverty and increase the living standard of the people in rural India especially women population. As a rural wage employment programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was enacted on 23rd of August 2005 and got presidential assent on 5th of September 2005. The Act recognised the relevance of incorporating gender equity and empowerment in its design. Various provisions under the act and its guidelines, aim to ensure that women have equitable and easy access to work, decent working conditions, equal payment of wages and representation on decision-making bodies. The MGNREGA marks a paradigm shift and stands out amongst other rural employment programmes as it empowers the rural population, particularly women and other backward sections of the society with a legal right and employment guarantee through an act of parliament, unlike other wage employment programmes.
In a country where labour is the only economic asset for millions of people, gainful employment is a prerequisite for the fulfillment of other basic rights-the right to life, the right to food, and the right to education. MGNREGA came into force in 200 districts of India on February 2, 2006. It was “an Act to provide for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work and for matters connected or incidental thereto…” (NREGA-2005). One of the important features of MGNREGS is that it protects “employment” as a fundamental right of the individuals with all its strict rules. So that this programme is called the “employer of last resort” and this programme is entirely different from those other developmental and welfare programmes. Through this, it was protected the women justice and rights.
There is much that the MGNREGA promises from the perspective of women’s empowerment as well. Most boldly, in a rural milieu marked by stark inequalities between men and women-in the opportunities for gainful employment afforded as well as wage rates-MGNREGA represents action on both these counts. The Act stipulates that wages will be equal for men and women. It is also committed to ensuring that at least 33 percent of the workers shall be women. By generating employment for women at fair wages in the village, MGNREGS can play a substantial role in economically empowering women and laying the basis for greater independence and self-esteem.
While recognizing the significant achievements of MGNREGS with regard to
Gender parity of wages
Mobilization of women for MGNREGS employment
Increased in control rights of women in earnings from NREGA
Women’s empowerment was not among the original intentions of the MGNREGA, and is not among its main objectives. However, provisions like priority for women in the ratio of one-third of total workers (Schedule II (6)); equal wages for men and women (Schedule II (34)); and crèches for the children of women workers (Schedule II (28)) were made in the Act, with the view of ensuring that rural women benefit from the scheme in a certain manner. Provisions like work within a radius of five kilometres from the house, absence of supervisor and contractor, and flexibility in terms of choosing period and months of employment were not made exclusively for women, but have, nevertheless, been conducive for rural women. Nevertheless, women have availed of the paid employment opportunity under MGNREGS in large numbers. Interestingly, this occurred largely spontaneously.
In contrast to the high participation of women in the programme as workers, their participation in processes like work selection, social audit, mobilisation of civil society, and share in the control and management of assets created is not encouraging. This being the case, in some places, women’s participation in the gram sabha has still increased, and there is even an increase in the number of women who speak in the gram Sabha. There are also some examples of women’s groups playing an important role in the management of community assets, for example, in Jatropha plantations in Chhattisgarh. Nonetheless, the disjunction between work participation and process participation remains, and reduces the larger potential community-level impacts of the scheme.
There are various explanations for the varying participation of women workers under the MGNREGS. Factors that have encouraged women workers’ participation include the nature of the job not requiring special knowledge and skill (Krishnaraj et al., 2004 in the context of MEGS); outmigration of male family members (Bhatty 2006; Mehrotra 2008; Talukdar 2008); the employment opportunity being available at the doorstep (Bhatty 2006; Khera and Nayak 2009); a tradition of rural women working in others’ fields (Narayanan 2008); the provision of equal, non-discriminatory wages (Sudarshan 2008; Khera and Nayak 2009); and innovative experiments in implementation like the female mate system in Rajasthan (Khera 2008), synergization of MGNREGS with Kudumbashree in Kerala (Vijayakumar and Thomas 2008),9 and in Bihar,10 gender differential tasks for uniform (minimum) wages (Pankaj 2008a).
In the context of developing countries like India, an employment guarantee act/programme is likely to address effectively a number of barriers to equality for women. Along with promoting poverty alleviation of the households at the bottom, generating productive assets and facilitating pro-poor growth in the economy, an employment guarantee can reduce gender inequalities in multiple ways: It can guarantee employment at the legal minimum wages to men as well as to women, can generate assets that reduce drudgery of women, give ownership of assets to women also, and can empower women in many other ways by giving wages in their hands. An employment guarantee programme can also encourage mobilization of women, giving them collective strength to bargain for a better deal in the economy.
Origin of the research problem
With the introduction of the MGNREGS in 2005, it was launched in February 2006 in 200 backward districts in 27 states in the country including Jammu and Kashmir. In the first phase, the Scheme was taken up in three districts viz., Doda, Kupwara and Poonch of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The MGNREGS was not fully applicable in the State in the sense that the ‘employment guarantee’ was not there initially. However, the MGNREGS became fully applicable in 2007. The Act initially was not directly applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, yet a request was made to Government of India for extending the jurisdiction of this Act to the State. Pending the notification, implementation of MGNREGS is being carried out through REGS in the State. In the first phase, three districts, viz. Poonch, Doda and Kupwara were brought within the ambit of this Scheme which has been extended to the districts of Anantnag and Jammu during phase II. As envisaged in the Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been formulated on the basis of the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. The MGNREGS was extended to the State in 2008 and the guarantee component in terms of unemployment allowance has been made operational.
With the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre reportedly not satisfied with the implementation of MGNREGS in J & K and accused the State Government for poor implementation of the UPA Government’s flagship programme. According to information available from the Rural Development Department, over 11 lakh job cards have been issued to the beneficiaries in the State of J&K, only 67.83 per cent demanded the job, out of which around 90 per cent households have gained employment. However, the Congress Govt., which has been spearheading a campaign for implementation of MGNREGS, has said the actual ground position is different from what the state government has claimed. Since the scheme was launched in 2006, only about 10 per cent beneficiaries have secured 100 days of employment guaranteed under the Act. Likewise, against 33 per cent of jobs reserved for women under the Act in J&K only 20 percent women beneficiaries have secured employment. Although this is the official data claimed by government, number of problems are reported like delayed job and wage, corruption undistributed unemployment allowances etc.
Several poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes were introduced by the various Indian states government, UT’s and Government of India. But those schemes are not effectively and efficiently had worked to reduce poverty and increase the living standard of the people in rural India especially women population. Hence 2005 onwards government of India had introduced NREGS a different scheme for the betterment of women empowerment and development of rural population. Under this scheme has been guaranteed to 100 days wok providing every family in a financial year in rural India. The scheme is attractive especially for women because it stipulates that one third of the total workers should be women. Women are a vital part of any society. Over the years, there is a gradual realization of the key role of women in economic activities and social development. There are various issues relating to women inferiority and complexes in the society, which need to be addressed in a proper way.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the participation of women in MGNERGA is very less i.e. 76.39 lakhs (25.69 percent) as against national scenario of 55 percent during the financial year of 2014-15. There is no doubt that women of Kashmir are very competent and hard working. Every individual woman here is capable of making changes and work in every sector and level of society. The Kashmiri women are perhaps the most tolerant, courageous, talented and this is the reason that they are living in this troubled state with dignity and decorum despite the fact that in these past 25 years of protracted violence in the state. Women of Jammu and Kashmir are facing inequality with regard to participation in MGNERGA scheme. Gender equality and empowered women are catalysts for multiplying development efforts. Investments in gender equality yield the highest returns of all development investments (OECD, 2010). Women usually invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men.
One major provision of MGNREGS is employment generation without gender discrimination. However, the data reveals that the existences of gender discrimination in work creation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where less than one-fourth (25.69 per cent during 2014-15) of all work days are given to women which is the lowest level among the states. Some evidence compiled suggests that the low share of female workers, especially in the J&K, does not reflect a lack of demand but the hesitancy of elected local governments to provide work opportunities to women and the unwillingness of men to send their wives and daughters to workplaces in the public domain, absence of childcare facilities and also inadequate security. At the core of gender discrimination are traditional and cultural factors and religious beliefs and superstitious, which typically also result in work discrimination against women. We know that there is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition woman is improved.
Relevance of the study
The justification for study may be given from the point of view of two major considerations. One, the ‘women’ is a major focus of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in so far as the employment guarantee policy is seen as a tool that can promote job creation and bring about gender equality, and pro-poor development. And two, the program itself, in course of its implementation has brought into focus several issues concerning gender equality which need to be examined closely for deriving strategy lessons. Under the Scheme there are a number of provisions for the empowerment of women and gender equality like at least 33 percent of the workers shall be women, Gender parity of wages, work within the radius of five kilometres etc… But as far as the women participation under MGNREGS in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned it is reported very low participation 25.69 percent during 2014-15 especially in Kashmir Valley (20.42 percent) as against the national scenario 55 percent during the same period. Although MGNREGS offering much empowerment provisions in favour of women, Kashmir valley is far behind as compared to other regions and other states.
Objectives of the study
The study entitled “Women Empowerment through Employment Guarantee Scheme: A Study with Special Reference to Kashmir Valley” has following objectives:
To study various provisions of MGNREGS with special reference to women
To assess and analyze the trends and the present status of women’s participation under MGNREGS in Kashmir Valley
To identify the promoting or hindering factors which determine the participation of women under the scheme in Kashmir Valley
To evaluate impact of MGNREGS on socio-economic and political empowerment of women in Kashmir Valley
To evaluate MGNREGS in terms of awareness about provision, registration, employment, wage payment, financial inclusion, and migration with reference to women
To find out the constraints faced by the women in the participation of the scheme
To put forward suggestions and recommendations for improving women participation and their efficiency under the scheme
Hypotheses of the study
Participation of women in MGNREGS is not satisfactory
Participation of women in MGNREGS is not determined by any factor
MGNREGS does not make any significant impact on women empowerment
Sources of data and methodology
Both types of data i.e., primary and secondary, have been collected for the purpose of evaluating women empowerment through MGNREGS in Kashmir Valley. The primary data were collected through interview schedules, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), field work or work site observations, telephonic interview of experts and other participatory approaches involving participating and non-participating women workers, Grama Panchayat representatives, district, block and Grama Panchayat level officials, etc., in order to record their observations and capture crucial insights into the reality on the ground. Both kinds of information viz., quantitative and qualitative were gathered in order to supplement the information. The schedules of questionnaire were developed for the collection of primary data from those women who are participating under the Scheme which consists of the information relating to the awareness about the provisions of MGNREGS, registration and job card, employment, wage payment, bank related information, migration, its impact and performance and the factors promoting or hindering the participation of women in Kashmir Valley. This schedule is given in Appendix I. The schedules were pre-tested before initiating field survey in the selected districts so as to check the reliability, accuracy and effectiveness of these instruments in capturing the required primary data. Information regarding participation of the women respondents in MGNREGA (selection of works, works monitoring, social audit…), and benefits derived out of participation (control over wage earnings, expenditure pattern etc.,) was collected with a view to ascertaining the quality of change in women’s life. The schedules of questionnaire were also developed for the collection of primary data from those women who are not participating under the Scheme which consists of the information relating to the empowerment effects and also for identifying factors which either promote or hinder their participation. This schedule is given in Appendix II.
The focused group discussions (FGDs) laid emphasis on the changes visualized / experienced in the gender relations by the women members in the village and also their own assessment of MGNREGS’s contribution to the gender equity as well as other facilitating/hindering factors. The socio-economic context in which MGNREGA is being implemented; district administrative setup, processes and procedures were analyzed to identify the efficient management practices, procedures, processes, factors that have contributed to the good performance and factors that have resulted in limited performance. Dialogue with state government officials was also made to suggest remedial action and future interventions.
The secondary data have been collected from the documented official records i.e., from the official websites of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, Block Development Offices, and Grama Panchayat Offices etc…. Besides this the relevant data have been collected from Economic Survey- Government of India, Digest of Statistics- Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Annual Reports of MGNREGS, various studies and reports undertaken by researchers in the relevant field, Annual Reports of the Department of Rural Development, Reports of various institutes of rural development etc.
The methodology used for evaluating the women empowerment through MGNREGS is based on different statistical tools. All collected data and information were coded, tabulated, consolidated, cross-checked and entered in appropriate data entry formats and provided on tables/ figures in the report for reference and converted into meaningful tables. In order to study, the year-wise growth in the variables, percentage growth rates, simple average and percentage have been calculated. It is a simple measure to get a look at the year-wise increase and decrease in the variables under study. Standard statistical tools and software such as Excel, SPSS and STATA were used for the purpose of statistical analysis. Various types of graphs and diagrams were also used extensively in order to make comparisons much more visible and simple. Appropriate hypothesis testing will also be carried out in the study. The questions schedules for collecting primary data were aimed at collecting information on the factors contributing to the implementation and its various provisions and empowerment criterion which include those from participating and non-participating women under MGNREGS.
For determining various factors which may promote and hinder the participation of women under MGNREGS, Logit regression model was used, run by utilizing STATA software. Logit regression is a useful way of describing the relationship between one or more independent variables and a binary response variable, expressed as a probability that has only two values, such as dummy dependent variable assuming value one if a respondent is participating and otherwise zero and run three models with three categories of explanatory variables such as personal, promoting and hindering factors. For econometric model specification general Logit model is specified as follows:
log (π/(1-π))=β_0+β_1 X_1+ β_2 X_2+β_3 X_3+β_4 X_4+β_5 X_5+⋯⋯⋯+β_n X_n
π= Women are participating under MGNREGS
1-π= Women are not participating under MGNREGS
A composite index of women empowerment was constructed where several indicators of empowerment have been used to assess the extent of women empowerment. The most commonly used indices are in terms of socio-economic and political empowerment comprising its various indicators. The study has used some proxies to measure different attributes of women empowerment because subjective attributes are difficult to measure. The used proxies to measure women empowerment are:
Economic Empowerment Index (EEI)
Social Empowerment Index (SEI)
Political Empowerment Index (PEI)
The empowerment index was constructed by use of five point scale as 1 shows strong disagreement with given statement and 5 shows strong agreement with statement separately for economic-social and political empowerment. By summing up the scores obtained for each indicator listed above, empowerment index has been calculated using the following formula for economic, social and political empowerment.
Empowerment Index= (Score Obtained)/(Total Possible Score)
The latent variable empowerment is measured through an index called Composite Women Empowerment Index (CWEI). Based on above three indices, composite women empowerment index has been constructed by taking average of each index.
CWEI=(EEI+SEI+PEI)/3
Closer the value of Index to 1 higher will be empowerment and vice-versa. Like human development index measured as an index ranging between values of 0 which indicates, deprivation and value one which shows the full development.
Table 1.2: Sample framework
S. No.DistrictsBlocksGrama PanchayatWomen
(Beneficiaries)Women
(Non-Beneficiaries)
1.BadgamKhan-SahibGurwaith-A1010
Raithan1010
NarbalKawoosa Khalisa1010
Narbal-A1010
2.BaramullaRafiabadDandoosa1010
Dangiwacha1010
ZaingeerWarpora-B1010
Watlab1010
3.KulgamKulgamBugam-B1010
Shalipora1010
QaimohAshmugi-A1010
Balsoo1010
4.SrinagarHarwanDara-A1010
New Thread-A1010
SrinagarNowgam-A1010
Lasjan-A1010
5.KargilDrassRanbirpura1010
Goshan1010
TresponeTrespone-A1010
Tembisa-B1010
Total Respondent200200
Study area
The collection of primary data from five districts of Jammu and Kashmir where four districts were chosen from Kashmir valley based on the extent of participation of women in MGNREGS works namely Kulgam and Srinagar districts (High women participation), Badgam and Baramulla (Low women participation) and one district from Ladakh Division namely Kargil. Although the study is concentrating on the area of Kashmir Valley where women participation is very low as compared to other region, for the purpose of comparative analysis and identifying factors which promote/ hinder the participation of women also included one highest women participating district from the state namely Kargil from Ladakh division. Further, two blocks and four Gram Panchayats from each district, with same criteria were selected. About twenty women workers purposefully were selected for the sample from each Grama Panchayat.
The information regarding factors affecting the women participation was collected by using structured interview with twenty participating and non-participating women under MGNREGS. The study was carried out in October-December 2015; therefore, the reference period for the survey is from October to December 2015. 20 Panchayats from 10 blocks from 5 districts were selected and 200 MGNREGS participating women workers and 200 non- participating women with total of 400 women surveyed and studied.
Limitations of study
While the study has taken a broad view of the program and its impact on women empowerment, it has restricted its purview to gender aspects viz. impact of the program on gender and women’s access to productive employment and income generation and other aspects viz. wages, facilities at work spot, payment of wages and issues relating to overall impact of the program on women empowerment etc. have been covered.
The official government data available on the official website of MGNREGS was not updated and unavailability of some earlier data of programme implementation.
There have been two types of data available on official website of MGNREGS namely Management Information System (MIS) and Delivery Management Unit (DMU). The significant difference has been reported between the data entered by MIS and DMU which made some kind of confusions. We have used DMU data in our study because of its greater scope.
The field survey has been undertaken and samples are drawn from only five districts namely Badgam, Baramulla, Kulgam, Srinagar and Kargil and from each district we have selected two blocks and from each block two Panchayats were selected and which has been considered as representatives of universe of Kashmir valley. In view of this, coverage of the study is restricted to Kashmir valley. But for the comparative analysis of women participation, Kargil district also came under consideration.
It was difficult to gather any data from the state officials other than what was available from the website. Officials felt that all the relevant information was available on the website even though this was not the case.
The study does not rule out the possibility of volunteer bias. Volunteer bias occurs when a sample of volunteers is not representative of the general population. However, we took steps to control this bias. To ensure the questions being answered are free of bias if any because of the fear from local politicians, I conducted the survey by going to home of each job card holders to make him/her feel conformable while giving answers. Similarly, at the worksite we ensured that mate or any authority must be absent while workers are answering to our investigators.
References
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Chapter - 2
Literature Review
Chapter - 2
Review of Literature
There are many research articles, working papers and reports were drawn the attention towards the MGNREGA programme. Many institutions and individual researchers have studied the Act and its implementation related to specific states or districts. Some researchers have focused on areas like impact of the scheme on rural livelihood, programme evaluation and women empowerment. There are large numbers of studies related with the impact of MGNREGA on women’s participation. Various research studies and government reports have focused on the impact of MGNREGA in terms of women perspective, particularly on socio-economic improvements and challenges faced by women.
One major provision of MGNREGS is employment generation without gender discrimination. However, both the PACS-CSO report and Drèze and Oldiges (2007) point to the existence of gender discrimination in work creation. The gender bias is particularly strong in the northern states of India, especially in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, and Himachal Pradesh, where less than one-fourth of all work days are given to women. At the all-India level, women make up 40 per cent of MGNREGS employment. Case study evidence compiled by PACS-CSO suggests that the low share of female workers, especially in the northern states, does not reflect a lack of demand but the hesitancy of elected local governments to provide work opportunities to women and the unwillingness of men to send their wives and daughters to workplaces in the public domain. At the core of gender discrimination are traditional and cultural factors and beliefs, which typically also result in wage discrimination against women. Wage discrimination arises from the vested belief that women are incapable of doing hard manual labor, which in turn causes elected local governments to pay lower wages to women than to men.
In a study of Tamil Nadu, Narayanan (2008) suggests that women who bring their children to MGNREGS work sites in the absence of childcare facilities receive lower wages or are even turned away from work sites. The absence or insufficiency of childcare facilities at MGNREGS work sites thus adversely affects female participation rates in MGNREGS implementation.
Sharma, Asha (2008) study made an estimation of the pre and post MGNREGA. The study quotes the statement of the respondent that before NREGA, the workers were forced to work as agriculture labourers or casual labourers in brick kilns for Rs.25to 30per day. But under MGNREGA, we are getting Rs. 62 to 64 per day, more than double, which is almost an unexpected amount for us. Almost 50 per cent women’s used income for her regular household expenses. Before MGNREGA they totally dependent on her husband for any expenses but now she feels empowered and independent. The study also explore the status of SC/ST women and come up with the finding that MGNREGA work resulted to improved status of women among the SC/ST groups in the Rajnandgaon, Jhabua, Mayurbhanj and Cuddalore has important effect on the generating community assets and enhancing their spending capacity. High poverty rates pose to be significant obstacles in attaining empowerment among SC/ST women in rural India. By putting cash earning in women’s hands, NREGA has both increased and diversified the contribution that women are making to household incomes as wage earners.
Appu (2009) finds that MGNREGS has facilitated ‘people coming together’. It is quite common to see a large number of men and women irrespective of the caste working together in creating productive assets. This provides a great deal of opportunities for frequent interaction resulting in mutual trust and social capital. Nurkse has mentioned that capital starved over populated countries could build social capital in a big way by employing the surplus labour on a variety of projects. The massive effort in building social capital through MGNREGS could trigger higher productivity of land and labour, diversification of agriculture and foster industrial growth. There are also some reports of the continued presence of contractors and harassment of women workers. Khera and Nayak in their (2009) study found that at worksites where contractors were present, 35 per cent of women reported various types of harassment. Also, worksite facilities were negligible on these worksites.
CSE (2008) in its study found that the role of women in planning or conducting social audits is not visible. During a recent survey of states (Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu) it was found that women workers did not take part in social audits. “An analysis of social audits reports conducted by NGOs in districts including Dungarpur (Rajasthan), Hardoi (Uttar Pradesh), Surguja (Chhattisgarh), Villupuram (Tamil Nadu), Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh) clearly indicate that the auditing processes have been mostly focused on issues such as registration of families, checking of muster rolls for preventing forgery, timely payment of wages and payment of unemployment allowance. It did not say anything about gram Panchayat involvement in the implementation process”.
IHD (2008) found that innovative implementation mechanisms like vesting the responsibility of implementation in Kudumbashree (self-help groups) in Kerala are illustrative of the space available for effective implementation of MGNREGS, and especially that of women’s participation. Kerala’s strong Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) could also have enabled effective implementation. Awareness building appeared to have worked well in Pakur, Jharkhand-a tribal dominated area which shows high performance. However, several field studies point out generic factors like low funds, poor flow of funds due to political and administrative hurdles, etc. as reasons for varying performance across states and districts.
A study conducted by the “National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW-2008)” on “Socio-economic empowerment of women under NREGA” in selected districts of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu found out that there was enhanced women’s identity and empowerment as NREGA provided an economic opportunity. Respondents in all the states have been found to be very optimistic about the importance of NREGA in their lives. Another aspect of understanding NREGA is the growing contribution of women workers to the sources of their households’ livelihood. The study reveals that in spite of all the grey areas in the implementation of NREGA, a silent revolution is taking place in rural India with respect to women in disguise. The major findings of the study are that with NREGS, women workers are getting empowered as visible in the form of growing contributions to household expenditure, bearing cost of children’s education and healthcare, women have also started to appear more actively in the rural public sphere as they take up their work and responsibilities and there is a general trend of low migration in the areas where assessment was carried out and workers have started to repay their debts. The study reveals that despite numerous problems, NREGA is a programme that has begun to make a difference in the lives of women. Furthermore, it is popular among the workers, who routinely ask if more work could be made available to them under the NREGA.
The study of Institute of Applied Manpower Research (2009) found that NREGS helps to improve the income level and enhance the standard of living of the rural people particularly the vulnerable section of the society such as women, SC/STs, minorities and so on.
Khera and Nayak (2009) have found that apart from sociocultural restrictions, the presence of contractors on the worksites (which is not legally permitted), a schedule of rates-based wages and delays in wage payment and lack of childcare facilities have restrictive effects on women’s participation as workers under NREGS.
Account payment of wages also creates some other effects. Apart from increasing the chances for greater control over earnings, it leads to the development of a saving habit. Initially, most of these workers used to withdraw their entire wages at one go. Gradually, they have started withdrawing as per their needs. This has an added advantage as women are able to save money from wasteful experience, if husbands or other male members tend to spend on items like Liquor. Women were also found to invest in fixed deposit schemes in the same bank. Greater linkage of women with financial institutions may trigger many individual and community-level social and economic effects (Kabeer 2001b: Mayoux 2001: Pitt et al., 2006: Mayoux and Hartl 2009).
Reethika Khera et al., (2009) observed that the MGNREGA facilitate a lot to attain the socio economic empowerment of the women workers. It is also said that two-third of the women come out of poverty and attain food security. Vinita Arora et al., (2013) study found that MGNREGA enhances decision making power in social and economic well-being of women. Asha Sharma (2012) identified that the distress seasonal migration was almost stopped with the advent of the MGNREGA. The reason is that MGNREGA provided regular work in their native place and the flow of income was steady and reliable.
Looking at the response from widows separately, NREGA was also considered “very important” by 82 per cent of widows in the sample. Of the total sample, more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the sample workers stated the NREGA had helped them avoid hunger, while 57 per cent stated the NREGA had helped them avoid migration and equal proportion of workers also said they had used NREGA wages to buy medicines in the last 12 months. (Khera, R. and Nayak, N. 2009)
All the women workers in Kerala according to Thomas, EM (2010) are fully satisfied with NREGS works. The main reason for their satisfaction is that; today they are assured of 100 days of jobs. It means that no longer they have to fear the occurrence of seasonal unemployment and poverty. Likewise all of them unanimously opine that, the NREGS enabled them to participate effectively in the civil society. Now all they have no fear to enter in to a commercial bank or government office to hold discussions with the officials. The overall impact of NREGA on women’s lives is quite positive in many ways, whether it is by enhancing their economic independence and self-confidence, contributing to food security, helping to reduce distress migration, or fostering better awareness (and wider enforcement) of minimum wages. The role of NREGA as a tool of women’s empowerment deserves much more attention than it has received so far. (Jandu, N. 2008).
Khera and Nayak (2009) use qualitative data collected on 1060 NREGA workers from 98 NREGA worksites across 10 sample districts from North India to study the impact the program has had on women. They report increased women's access to jobs with reasonable wages and working conditions. Pankaj and Tankha (2010) based on their own field survey of 428 female NREGA workers from four northern states in India, report that women as individuals have gained because of their ability to earn independently. Similarly, Narayan (2008), based on field work from selected areas in Tamil Nadu, reports that women who took advantage of NREGA gained a certain independence. They seemed to have invested more in their children's welfare, paid off outstanding debts, and garnered a sense of empowerment since they could self-sustain themselves. However, he also finds that quite often women have to suffer income losses due to the lack of child-care facilities at NREGA worksites. Similarly, Sudarshan's (2011) study finds that quite often women have to juggle work and care through the help of family members, quite often the older daughters. In spite of the provisions in the Guidelines of the Act for promoting women’s participation in the NREGA, local dynamics, gender relations and implementation challenges create several constraints for women’s meaningful participation.
Three key features of the MGNREGA set it apart from previous labour market interventions from the perspective of the opportunities it holds for women. First, the Act prescribes that at least a third of all workers be women. Second, the Act also provides for equal wages for men and women. This is especially significant in a context where women often receive a lower wage than men do even for similar tasks. Third, since the entitlement to at least a hundred days of work is at the household level, the allocation of the work within the household is left to the household members allowing space for the participation of women (Khera and Nayak, 2009).
Ratnam. Sudarshan (2010) study focused that improved women participation in MGNREGA is enhanced from active participation of NGOs and better wage payment of scheme which is above the prevalent market wage. The study by Sudha Narayan (2008) pointed out that the provision of shade, food and other basic amenities for young children at MGNREGA worksite would ensure effective participation of women particularly mothers who are having young child. But Xavier and Mari (2013) study revealed that MGNREGA eliminate the leisure time enjoyed by the women. However, Narayanan et al., (2013) found preparedness for the implementation of programme by the government viz., initial survey, design and uploading of photographs before and after completion of works were not properly done due to paucity of staff particularly technical staff.
The Mahatma Gandhi NREGA has been designed to allow women equity in both access to work and in the payment of wages. The participation of women in the workforce has surpassed the statutory minimum requirement of 33 percent and the trends also indicate an increase in the participation rate at the national level. Though this, it has protected the women justice and rights. There is much that the MGNREGA promises from the perspective of women’s empowerment as well. The act stipulates that wages will be equal for men and women. By generating employment for women, MNREGS can play a substantial role in economically empowering women and laying the basis for greater independence and self- esteem (Akthar, Azeez, Alam 2012). By putting cash incomes into hands, NREGA is beginning to create a greater degree of economic independence among women. As mentioned, this was one of NREGA’s main aims: with the increased participation of women in household income generation a positive contribution to gender relations can be made. The survey data (both qualitative and quantitative) suggest that women workers are more confident about their roles as contribution to family expenditure and their work decision, and that they are also becoming more assertive about their space in the public sphere (Asha Sharma 2012).
MGNREGS has succeeded in bringing large number of women into paid work. It focuses not only on women’s equitable access to jobs but also in designing the projects in such a way that assets created and service delivered are focused on poor women. MGNREGS has been designed to allow women equity to access to work and wage payment. The participation rate of women’s workforce surpassed the statutory minimum 33 per cent every year and reaches 58.24 per cent during 2015-16 at the national level. It has also help in reducing the existing gender wage differentials by raising the female wages in other sector which has improved the conditions as well as the bargaining power of women workers. MGNREGS has taken various projects regarding fuel plantation, fodder development and water harvesting at the village level. Women do not have to spend long hours to collect these things. As a result poor and non-poor women workers have been released for more productive work in labour market which helps in poverty reduction and contribute towards gender equity (Hirway, 2012).
The inclusion of women in the policy process is still poor in the sample areas. While addressing the concerns of policymakers about the low officially estimated participation of women in the MGNREGA workforce, this study found that the inclusion of women as a whole-their space in the workforce and decision-making process of the MGNREGA-has suffered greatly due to institutional negligence, gender discrimination and other sociocultural factors. The study confirms official figures which show a small number of sample households reporting that their women are a part of the MGNREGA workforce. However, some of the muster rolls from 2010 to 2012 prepared by a newly appointed GRS hardly revealed any such participation. Interaction with these GRSs (interview, 16 November 2012) reflected that, even if women have participated in the workforce, they are not shown on the muster rolls because either bank accounts are in the name of their male counterparts and the payment goes directly to their account, or the women are paid in cash and the entry is made in the name of another person who has not actually worked but is in collusion with the contractor in siphoning off the workers’ wages. Besides other things, it indicates that on the ground more women would have participated in the MGNREGA workforce but remains excluded from the official data due to these irregular practices.
Kar, (2013) has a view that in India women constitute a major share of chronically poor population. The government has framed different programmes/schemes to uplift the women from poverty vulnerability of life. MGNREGA has provided a unique opportunity to people from rural India to earn their own income without any discrimination of caste or gender. Most remarkable feature of MGNRGA is that it pays women the same as men, something that was virtually unimaginable in rural India. However some states have registered high percentage of women workers getting enrolled in the scheme whereas others have registered a very low percentage of women availing benefits under MGNREGA.
Trishna Kalita in her article “Women’s Participation in NREGA” shares that women like NREGA work for various reasons. Firstly, it is locally available. Secondly, there is less chance of exploitation. Thirdly, there are regularity and predictability of working hours. Fourthly, such works are socially acceptable and dignified. And finally, they are better paid in comparison to other works. In spite of better possibilities of women’s participation in NREGA work, there are certain problems associated with it. We have certain social taboos, and it is said that women are too weak to work and that going for work outside home in their case is socially unacceptable. The hostility of the panchayat functionaries and male relatives of women to female participation in NREGA has resulted in the exclusion of the names of many women from job cards in many places. Since men want more access to the highly paid NREGA work, they very often put resistance to women’s participation. The presence of illegal contractors hassled to the harassment of women workers, and the condition of work run by contractors has been exploitative. Since women are ignorant about the legal entitlement to get work on demand, they are very often turned away by the contractors who think they (women) are less efficient.
The study conducted by Atieq and Showkeen (2013) found that the low share of female workers, especially in the J&K, does not reflect a lack of demand but the hesitancy of elected local governments to provide work opportunities to women and the unwillingness of men to send their wives and daughters to workplaces in the public domain, absence of childcare facilities and also inadequate security. At the core of gender discrimination are traditional and cultural factors and religious beliefs and superstitious, which typically also result in work discrimination against women.
Atieq and Showkeen (2013), in their study mentioned that Religion plays a significant role in limiting the participation of women in MGNREGA in Kashmir. Many women, which they interviewed explained that certain religious practices forbid women from working outside the home. In the Kashmir majority of people belongs to the Muslim community, and Muslim women who practice the Purdah system refrain from appearing in public, limiting their ability to participate in different public activities, even when they are physically capable of participating and are in need of the income.
Some of the studies had looked at the impact of the NREGA on women as well. Khera and Nayak (2009) pointed out that the NREG scheme has resulted in enhanced wage earnings of the women workers, significantly contributing towards their increased food security, access to credit and ability to cope with sickness. Pankaj and Tankha (2010) examined the impact of the NREG scheme on women’s economic empowerment. They pointed out that the NREGS had broadened women’s choices in two ways: first, by opening an entirely new avenue for paid employment and, second, through expansion of choice set and reduction in economic dependence on other family members. They found Dungarpur (Rajasthan) and Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) performing better than Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Patna (Bihar). Similarly, Sudarshan et al. (2010) examined the reasons behind wide variations in women’s participation across states and, based on the sample drawn from Sirmour (Himachal Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala) and Sirohi (Rajasthan), found that women’s participation in the NREG was shaped by numerous factors such as level and equity in wage rate, effective role played by women organizations, traditionally determined gender roles, and availability of child-care facilities.
It would appear that owing to the in-built provisions relating to gender parity in wage rates and provision of worksite facilities, especially child care, there had been an enthusiastic participation by women in most, if not all, states. In addition, the perception of the NREG work as ‘government work’ with associated dignity and the absence of contractors played further stimulating role in general. Various studies pointed out that the NREGA played an instrumental role in women’s empowerment by opening up an entirely new avenue for paid employment and by expansion of their choice set, even if limited, and the consequent reduction in economic dependence on others (Pankaj and Tankha, 2010). Based on the fieldwork in Kerala, Sudarshan et al. (2010) reported the upward revision of women unskilled (market) wages mainly due to the NREGA. Moreover, the enhanced earnings enabled women to send their children to school, buying them school uniforms and books, seeking better healthcare, repayment of small debts and the avoidance of demeaning and hazardous work (GBPSSI, 2009). In some cases, there had been an improvement in women’s control over resources and the decision-making in spending of money.
Kavitha A. and Nagaraj G.H. (2012) in his article entitled "Effect of Employment Guarantee Programme for Rural Women" considers that the rural women have made civil society inward looking caste religious and kingship networks are activated within the community. All networks are executing development projects which would benefit their stake groups. Under these circumstances, the author says that the women's rights activists with multicultural perspective can play an important role as catalysts for women's empowerment ensuring women's rights. Female being head of households are the poorest of the poor households. Public investment should be made in technologies for poor people especially in the rural areas of medical and agriculture research.
Asha Sharma (2012) in his article entitled SC/ST Employment Guarantee: Women's Empowerment in Rural India by MGNREGA" highlight the difference in employment and empowerment attainment among the SC/ST women in rural India. The author considers employment is to be an important tool for improving the status of women among the SC/ST in rural India. Aggregate statistics often paints a dismal picture of the employment and empowerment among the SC/ST women in rural India. The high status of women among the SC/ST groups in the Rajnandgaon, Jhabua, Mayurbhanj and Cuddalore has important effect on the generating community assets and enhancing their spending capacity. High poverty rates pose to be significant obstacles in attaining empowerment among SC/ST women in rural India. By putting cash earning in women's hands, NREGS has both increased and diversified the contribution that women are making to household incomes as wage earners.
Jyoti Poonia, (2012) conducted a research to highlight the impact and women participation in MGNREGA. It was found out that NREGA has the potential to stimulate local development, if the management and delivery are good; and that women’s weak position in the labor market has been greatly helped. Preliminary finding suggested that in Kerala there has been some shift out agriculture into the NREGS, mainly with respect to female workers. Since the minimum wage paid under the NREGS is far greater than the market agricultural wage for female workers, women who were not working previously have started to do so on NREGS sites. There seems to have been some ‘smoothing’ of income or consumption. The actual performance of the NREGS in Kerala owes much to state government commitment and the managerial role of the Kudumbashree and area development supervisors in particular.
Vinita Arora, L. R. Kulshreshtha, V. Upadhyay, (2013) has analyzed the relevance of MNREGS on women empowerment in the Rohtak district of Haryana State. Data were drawn from 250 responders through a field survey in 2012 using the random stratified sampling technique. The study revealed the success in raising the level of employment and income of the rural household women, thereby enhancing their purchasing power, satisfaction, confidence etc.
Gowhar Bashir Ahangar (2014) conducted study on women empowerment through MGNREGS in Shahabad Block of district Anantnag and reported that 90 per cent of the surveyed respondent believes that their social status is improved after joining in this programme, especially from widows. They got more self-respect than earlier period. People are able to mingle with others, share their feelings, and increase their participation in Gram Sabha. All this happened only after joining in this programme.
Empowerment of women was not included in the guidelines of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and is not among its main objectives. However, provisions like priority for women in the ratio of one-third of total workers; equal wages for men and women; and crèches facility for children of women workers were made in the Act, with the view of ensuring that rural women benefit from the scheme. Provisions like work within a radius of five kilometers from the house, and flexibility in terms of selecting period and months of employment were not made exclusively for women, but have, nevertheless, been conducive for rural women. It was acknowledged by several studies that the MNREGS had provided an opportunity for women to work with dignity (Kakodia, 2014).
References
National Federation for Indian Women (2008), “Socio-economic Empowerment of Women under NREGA”, www.ipc-undp.org/ pressroom/files/ipc163.pdf.
Khera, Reetika and Nayak, Nandini (2009), “Women Workers and Perceptions of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, Economic & Political Weekly, xliv No. 43 October 24.
Khera, Reetika and Nandini Nayak (2009), “Women workers and perceptions of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, Economic and Political Weekly, 44(43):49-57.
GBPSSI (2009), as quoted in NCEUS (2009), “The Challenge of Employment in India: An Informal Economy Perspective”, Vol. I: Main Report, National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, Government of India, New Delhi.
Khera, R. and N. Nayak (2009), “Women Workers and Perceptions of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, Economic and Political Weekly, 44(43): 49-57, October 24.
Linda and Martia Hartl (2009), “Gender and rural Microfinance: Reaching and Empowering women”, International fund for Agricultural Development, Rome.
Kabeer, Naila (2001a), “Reflections on the Measurement of Women’s Empowerment” in Discussing Women’s Empowerment-Theory and Practice, Sida Studies 3 Stockholm.
(2001b), “Conflict over Credit: Re-evaluating the Empowerment Potential of loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh”, World Development, 29(1): 63-84.
Pankaj, Ashok and Tankha, Rukmini (2010), “Empowerment Effects of the NREGS on Women Workers: A Study in Four States”, Economic & Political Weekly, July 24.
Thomas, E.M, (2010), “The Relevance of NREGA in Ensuring a Corruption Less Wage Employment Programme and Women Empowerment- A Case Study” http://www.napsipag.org/pdf/EM_THOMAS.pdf
Sharma, A (2012), “SC/ST Employment Guarantee: Women’s Empowerment in rural India by MNREGA”, International Journal of Human Development and Management Sciences, Vol. 1 No. 1 (January-December, 2012) ISSN: 22508714 Mind Reader Publications.
Trishna Kalita (2010) Women’s Participation in NREGA, http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=763040.
Pankaj, A. and R. Tankha (2010), “Empowerment Effects of the NREGS on Women Workers: A Study in Four States”, Economic and Political Weekly, 45(30): 45-55, July 24.
Sharma Asha (2012), “SC/ST Employment Guarantee: Women's Empowerment in Rural India by MGNREGA”, International Journal of Human Development and Management Sciences, Vol.1 No.1, January-December, pp.1-10.
Jyoti poonia; (2012), “Critical Study of MGNREGA: Impact and Women’s Participation”, International Journal of Human Development and Management Sciences, Vol. 1 No. 1, ISSN: 2250-8714.
Azeez. NP. Abdul, Akhtar SM. Jawed and Alam Md. Masroor (2012), “Women Empowerment in through MGNREGS in the State of Kerala”, published in A. K. Thakur & S.M. Jawed Akhtar (eds.), Non-Farm Sector and Rural Transformation, Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, PP-637-651, ISBN-978-81-8450-431-6.
Hirway, I. (2012), “MGNREGS: A Component of Full Employment Strategy for India”, in Ashok Pankaj (ed.) Right to Work and Rural India: Working of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), SAGE Publication India Pvt. Ltd. India, New Delhi, pp. 47-71.
Kavitha A. and Nagaraj G.H. (2012), "Effect of Employment Guarantee Programme for Rural Women", Southern Economist, Vol.51, No.4, February 15, pp.13-16.
Sharma, Asha (2012), “SC/ST Employment Guarantee: Women’s Empowerment in Rural India by MGNREGA”, International Journal of Human Development and Management Sciences Vol. 1 No. 1 (January-December, 2012) ISSN: 2250-8714.
Vinita Arora, L.R. Kulshreshtha, V. Upadhyay (April 2013), “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: A Unique Scheme for Indian Rural Women”, International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, Vol. 3, No. 2.
Gowhar Bashir Ahangar (2014), “Women Empowerment through MGNREGA: A case Study of Block Shahabad of District Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir”, Abhinav, Volume No: III, PP: 55-62, February.
Atieq and Showkeen (2013), “A Study of Barriers and Challenges to Women’s Participation w33in MGNREGA in Kashmir”, Excellence International Journal of Education and Research (Multi- subject Journal), Volume 1 Issue 1, September.
Kar, S. (2013), “Empowerment of Women through MGNREGS: Issues and Challenges”, Odessa Review, pp. 76-80.
Mushtaq Ahmad Malla (2014), “MGNREGA in Kashmir- Opportunity for Derailed Social Protection”, Economic & Political Weekly, December, Vol XLIX, No. 52, PP-109-114.
Kakodia A.S (2014), “Women's Participation in Employment and Income Generation: A Study of MNREGS in Seoni District”, Research Journal of Arts, Management and Social Sciences, Vol. X-I, Year-5, March.
Chapter - 3
Women Empowerment through MGNREGS: Provisions, Participation and Problems
Chapter - 3
Women Empowerment through MGNREGS: Provisions, Participation and Problems
As a rural wage employment programme, MGNREGA recognised the relevance of incorporating gender equity and empowerment in its design. Various provisions under the Act and its Guidelines, aim to ensure that women have equitable and easy access to work, decent working conditions, equal payment of wages and representation on decision-making bodies.
Provisions for women participation under MGNREGS
The rural Indian woman is an epitome of strength, who is performs her household duties from dawn to dusk. However, her contribution remains unrecognized. Many, after performing her daily chores, have to work in their small agricultural land. Men perform operations involving machinery. Agriculture which is the mainstay of the rural Indian economy is sustained for the most part by the female workforce. They are the invisible life line of the agrarian rural community life. Rural women from childhood days have to bear the burden of taking care of younger siblings, cooking, engaging in domestic chores, looking after the fodder of the domestic animals in their parents’ house. They are married off at a very early age. Many Indian rural women are condemned to a life of serfdom, anonymity, facelessness. In rural India, very few women have ownership over land or productive assets. This proves to be a road block in institutional credit. Majority of the agricultural labourers are women.
In this background, introduction of MGNREGS gave more opportunities for empowerment of rural women. This flagship programme is slowly bringing in change in the overall level of empowerment of rural Indian women. Women’s empowerment was not among the original intentions of the MGNREGA, and is not among its main objectives. MGNREGA programme guidelines stipulate certain provisions for creation of specific facilities at the worksites for the working women facilitating their participation in the programme.
Employment
One of the important features of MGNREGS is that it protects “employment” as a fundamental confirm right of the individuals with all its strict rules. So that this programme is called the “employer of last resort” and this programme is entirely different from those other developmental and welfare programmes. While providing employment under this scheme, priority shall be given to women in such a way that at least one-third of the beneficiaries shall be women who have registered and requested for work under the Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, Schedule II, Section 6). The scheme also, given the provision that there is flexibility in terms of choosing period and months of employment, were made exclusively made for women.
Equal wage rate
Every person working under the Scheme is entitled to wages at the wage rate notified by the Central Government under Section 6(1) of the MGNREGA. Equal wages shall be paid to both men and women workers, and the provisions of the equal Remuneration Act, 1976 shall be complied with. This is especially significant in a context where women often receive a lower wage than men do even for similar tasks. Thus act stipulates that wages will be equal for men and women (Schedule II (34)) and this equal wage for men and woman is considered as a one major reason for their highest participation in this scheme.
Radius of work
Further, there is another aspect of the MGNREGA that makes work attractive for women, at least in principle, for example, the stipulation that work is within 5 kilometres of an applicant’s residence. Women (especially single women) should be given preference to work on worksites nearer to their residence. Even in the allocation of work, the guidelines recommend that women be given preference on worksites closest to their dwelling (page 22, MGNREGA Operational Guidelines 2013). If some applicants have to be directed to report for work beyond 5 km of their residence, the state must pay an additional allowance to MGNREGA workers towards conveyance charges. Pregnant women travelling more than 1km to reach the worksite shall be provided with transportation facility.
Crèche and ayah
If more than five children below the age of six years are present at the worksite, a person (preferably a woman) should be engaged under Mahatma Gandhi NREGS to look after them. She will be paid a wage equal to the prevalent wage rate paid to the unskilled worker. (Schedule II (28)). The expenditure will be separately recorded and will not be included as part of the work measurement. The main aim of this provision is that to reduce the barriers to women’s participation. Accordingly, it has made the provision of crèche for five children along with other facilities of shade, water, first-aid etc.
Crèches are helping the rural mothers as they do not have to depend on others at home to take care of the children. Usually, the elder daughter takes on the responsibility of the younger siblings at home when the mother is away for work. This facility has relieved the elder daughters from this duty and they can attend school.
Mate
A mate is required for each work-site. At least one mate should be present for every fifty workers. A mate should be literate and should have worked in MGNREGS for a reasonable period of time. Mates should be selected on the basis of transparent criteria which are well-publicised and preference should be given to the most deserving families in terms of need. Priority should be given to women and the differently-abled.
Bank account
To increase participation rates of women workers in MGNREGA, the Ministry has suggested that individual bank/post office accounts must compulsorily be opened in the name of all women MGNREGA workers and their wages directly credited to their own account for the number of days worked by them. In the context of opening bank accounts for wage payments, the recommendation is that the local government should consider individual and joint accounts to avoid crediting earnings solely to the male head of household.
Selection and identification of work
This process of planning and identification of works must start in a participatory manner at the habitation level, reflecting the needs and aspirations of the local people, while ensuring maximum participation of women, Dalits, Adivasis and the poor.
Vigilance and monitoring committee
At the local level, Vigilance and Monitoring Committee should be assigned a definite and reasonable service area. Ideally, it should consist of about ten members half of whom shall be women with representation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population. Members of the Vigilance and Monitoring Committee may be identified from among local school teachers, anganwadi workers, SHG members, Social Audit volunteers, members of various CBOs, user groups, youth clubs etc.
Single person household
By recognising a single person as a ‘Household’, the Act makes it possible for widows and other single women to access MGNREGS work. Thus this Scheme ensures that single women also eligible for work.
Social audit
The guidelines mention about social audit forum, convened by the ‘gram sabha’ every six months as part of the continuous auditing process. There is stress on the quorum of these meetings maintaining female participants alongside those from other disadvantageous groups. ‘The timing of the forum must be such that it is convenient for people to attend - that it is convenient for REGS (Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) workers, women and marginalised communities (Narayanan,S.,2008).
Women in special circumstances
Widowed women, deserted women and destitute women are highly vulnerable and require special attention. The Gram Panchayat should identify such women and ensure that they are provided 100 days of work. Pregnant women and lactating mothers (at least upto 8 months before delivery and 10 months after delivery) should also be treated as a special category. Special works which require less effort and are close to their house should be identified and implemented for them.
Supplementary provisions: guidelines 12
For the effective implementation of Act, a Committee under the chairmanship of Mihir Shah was constituted by Ministry of Rural Development which brought out a very elaborate set of guidelines by keeping minute details for ensuring interest of various groups particularly interest of women in the employment programme as transparency and accountability. The report runs into 170 pages containing 14 chapters covering various aspects of scheme. The women related guidelines are as follows:
For fair selection of Mates though literacy and experience of working with MGNREGA, transparency, and publicity are accepted as key components, but preference for the most deserving families in terms of need and priority for women and the differently abled makes it humane and gender sensitive.
The survey team should include Gram Panchayat members, SCs/ STs Members and women residents, a village-level government functionary and the Panchayat Secretary. SHG leaders, Anganwadi workers, ASHA, etc. could also be involved. The team members may be given orientation at the Block/District level. (3.1.1 Committee p. 14)
The recruitment of MGNREGA staff at all levels shall be undertaken by a competent authority as notified by the state governments or national government, as the case may be. In the recruitment process, the reservation policy of the state should be strictly followed. The MGNREGS staff should be adequately represented by women, SCs, STs, disabled, etc. (4.6 Recruitment Policy-Committee report p. 40)
The process of planning and identification of works must start in a participatory manner at the habitation level, reflecting the needs and aspirations of the local people, while ensuring maximum participation of women, dalits, adivasis and the poor. (6.3.3 Committee)
About fixing up the SoRs, the guideline clearly mentions that there is adequate provisions for variations according to geology and climatic conditions of the area, without discriminating against women, underpaying workers by lumping various activities together and the rate be revised in line with increments in wage rates. (7.6.2 Committee p. 64)
The WT (Work Studies) and MS (Motion Studies) should also allow for regional variations in tasks, depending on the variable local conditions and the health and nutrition status of the population. In particular, they must reflect the productivity of mixed group of workers including both men and women, elderly workers and those who are physically challenged (7.6.6 Committee p. 65).
Allowance for regional variations in tasks, depending on the variable local conditions and the health and nutrition status of the population. For instance, the tasks expected to be performed by the malnourished, primitive tribal groups, the aged and women should be different from those expected from able-bodied men. Tasks should be assigned which can be done by pregnant women, aged and disabled (7.6.10 Committee p. 65).
Pregnant women travelling more than one km to reach the worksite shall be provided with transportation facility (7.11.4 Committee p. 66).
Special awareness and outreach activities should be conducted to ensure that all wage-seekers (including women) are able to handle bank procedures, especially in areas where they are unfamiliar with the banking system (8.1.x Committee, p. 89).
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to become part of mobilisation, vigilance, monitoring and Social Audit Facilitating Organisations must be organisations with an established track-record and demonstrated experience and capacity of high quality work of mobilising the people. Moreover they must have formed and facilitated active SHGs, UGs, SIGs, Federations of women/ workers/farmers, etc. (9.4.4 Committee, p. 105-106).
While providing a strong social safety net for vulnerable groups under MGNREGA, extra efforts need to be made for certain special categories such as persons with disabilities, primitive tribal groups, nomadic tribal groups, de-notified tribes, women in special circumstances, senior citizens above 65 years of age, Internally displaced persons (10.1comm).
Widowed, deserted and destitute women are highly vulnerable and require special attention. The Gram Panchayat should identify such women and ensure that they are provided 100 days of work. Pregnant women and lactating mothers (at least up to eight months before delivery and 10 months after delivery) should also be treated as a special category. Special works which require less effort and are close to their house should be identified and implemented for them. (10.6.1 comm., p.113).
At the local level, Vigilance and Monitoring Committee should be assigned a definite and reasonable service area. Ideally, it should consist of about ten members half of whom shall be women with representation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population. Members of the Vigilance and Monitoring Committee may be identified from among local school teachers, anganwadi workers, SHG members, Social Audit volunteers, members of various CBOs, user groups, youth clubs, etc. (14.7.4. comm., p. 154)
An overview of the above provisions reveals that the gender sensitivity of this programme has doubly empowered the women. Firstly, they are politically empowered as being part of grassroots institutions-Gram Sabha (GS), Gram Panchayats (GP), Mandal Panchayats (MP), District Panchayats (DP) wherein they enjoy almost 50 per cent representation and they are entrusted with the power of making and approving of plans and taking decisions regarding the nature and choice of works to be undertaken, the order in which each work is to be triggered, site selection, etc. in open assemblies which is then ratified by the GPs. It is so powerful that works that are inserted at Intermediate Panchayat and DP level have to be approved and assigned a priority by the Gram Sabha before administrative approval can be given. The Gram Sabha may accept, amend or reject them. It is entitled to carry social audit of Outcome Report. (Appendix-1) Secondly, as the beneficiaries of the scheme they are entitled for work, as the Act provides that at least one-third beneficiaries shall be women who have registered and requested work under the scheme while giving due consideration to the limitations of female workers. This has been considered as important move for their economic empowerment.
All these elements of the MGNREGA collectively attempt to address the stated objective of the MGNREGA to empower women. Through this, it has promoted the women justice and rights. There is much that the MGNREGA promises from the perspective of women’s empowerment as well. Most boldly, in a rural milieu marked by stark inequalities between men and women-in the opportunities for gainful employment afforded as well as wage rates-MGNREGA represents action on both these counts. By generating employment for women at fair wages in the village, MGNREGS can play a substantial role in economically empowering women and laying the basis for greater independence and self-esteem. While recognizing the significant achievements of MGNREGS with regard to gender parity of wages; mobilization of women for MGNREGS employment and increased in control rights of women in earnings from NREGA is also noteworthy.
NREGA work can also protect women against migration in search of work. This leads to an improvement in the quality of their life through avoidance of costs and risks associated with migration. It also helps women who are to look after their kith and kin suffering from severe ills. Moreover, women can avoid harsh working conditions and hazardous works at private work place. Because of these measures, it is mentioned that a large number of women are keen to get into NREGA work. As per the national level consolidated figure, during the financial year 2008-09, out of total labourers, 47 per cent were women. During the year 2014-15 (Nine months), the percentage of women’s participation was 55. It indicates that the NREGA is becoming more women-centric.
Participation of women: national scenario
Women’s empowerment is not the main objective of the MGNREGA. But the Act can help to empower women, by giving them independent income-earning opportunities. It provides that 30 percent of the employment provided, should be given to women. The Act requires that one third of beneficiaries of the program be women, preserving in the law the principle that women cannot be excluded from MGNREGA work. In theory, the “1/3 provision” should serve as an important safeguard to ensure women’s inclusion in the labor market in areas where women have no access to remunerated employment. Therefore, the degree to which states implement the “1/3 provision,” is a useful indicator of the successful MGNREGA implementation. However, provisions like priority for women in the ratio of one-third of total workers (Schedule II (6)); equal wages for men and women (Schedule II (34)); and crèches for the children of women workers (Schedule II (28)) were made in the Act, with the view of ensuring that rural women benefit from the scheme in a certain manner. Provisions like work within a radius of five kilometres from the house, absence of supervisor and contractor, and flexi¬bility in terms of choosing period and months of employment were not made exclusively for women, but have, nevertheless, been conducive for rural women. Nevertheless, women have availed paid employment op¬portunity under MGNREGS in large numbers. Interestingly, this occurred largely spontaneously. Women’s participation under MGNREGS, measured in person-days, also exceeded their participa-tion in erstwhile employment generation programmes like the Sampoorna Gramin Rojgar Yojana (SGRY) and the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme (MEGS).
Many studies show that having once tasted the value of bringing home a money wage from their own labour, they had developed a sense of confidence and also release from the authority of the family and had started to gain the confidence to take up other types of work in the area and also argue that the payment of equal wages to men and women is one reason for their highest participation in this scheme. In areas where rural women are traditionally homebound, such as Uttar Pradesh, the employment guarantee Act has an even more significant role to play as a means of empowering rural women and curbing gender discrimination. The MGNREGS has potential in empowering women by providing them work opportunities has been commented on by others as well (Dreze and Oldiges 2009, ISST 2006, Jandu 2008). Thus it shows that the underprivileged majority is not completely marginalized in this elitist political system. With adequate political organization, their demand can prevail over privileged interests. As the bank deposits are increasing, the intra-household status of the woman has also been improving commensurately as she controls substantial cash resources and withdrawal can be made only on her decision.
It is certain that MGNREGS has played a significant role in stimulating women’s increased labour market participation. At national level the share of women workers had recorded an increase from nearly 40 percent in 2006-07 to 55 percent in 2014-15. There are wide variations across states, within states and across districts in the share of work days availed by women. The Table shows the percent of women participation at all India level from 2006-07 to 2014-15, which shows an increasing trend and is above the minimum required level of 33 percent. On these counts, nationally representative data suggest that the MGNREGA has performed reasonably well.
Table 3.1: Women participation under MGNREGS-national scenario
YearTotal person days (in lakhs)Women (in lakhs)Percentage
2006-079050.563637.0240.65
2007-0814376.146109.1142.51
2008-0921632.8610357.3647.87
2009-1028359.5913640.4848.19
2010-1125715.2312274.2147.72
2011-1210197.7421170.7748.18
2012-1321848.0011388.5152.44
2013-1421867.7411554.6052.84
2014-157454.4513530.6255.09
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
As far as the national scenario of the participation of women under MGNREGS is concerned, it has increased significantly from 40.65 percent in 2006-07 to 55.09 percent in 2014-15. That the MGNREGA is indeed an important avenue of employment for women is evident from the fact that while the proportion of women in total rural workforce is 34.9% according to the Census 2011, their representation in the MNGREA workforce is 55% on average for 2014-15. The MGNREGS guidelines specify that at least one-third of employment provided should go to women and national scenario shows that this figure much higher than what guideline suggests. It would appear that owing to the in built provision relating to gender parity in wage rate and provision of worksite facilities especially child care, there has been an enthusiastic participation by women in most states. In addition, the perception of the NREGS work as government work with associated dignity and the absence of contractors played further stimulating role in general. Thus MGNREGS played an instrumental role in women empowerment by opening up an entirely new avenue for paid employment and expansion of choice and dependence.
Fig 3.1: Women participation under MGNREGS-national scenario
Source: Table 3.1
There is another sense in which the MGNREGA is a women’s programme. Of the households that report working in the MGNREGA in many states, an overwhelming majority of the MGNREGA households sends only its female members to work in the MGNREGA underscoring the importance of the MGNREGA as an option for women.
Table 3.2 shows the percentage of women participation in major states under MGNREGS from 2006-07 to 2014-15. The states especially southern like Kerala (92.95 percent) followed by Tamil Nadu (85.67 percent), Rajasthan (68.11 percent) have marked high percentage of women participation with lowest participation of states like Uttar Pradesh (24.27 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (25.69 percent) Assam (27.97 percent), Orissa (33.43 percent), Bihar (37.23 percent), West Bengal (40.39 percent), as against the national scenario of 55.09 percent during the financial year 2014-15. Interestingly, apart from the north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram that traditionally have a larger proportion of women in the workforce, states where the share of women MGNREGA workers is lower than their corresponding share in total rural workforce include Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
Table 3.2: Women participation of major states under MGNREGS
States2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
Andhra Pradesh54.7957.7458.1558.1775.0557.7958.0758.7158.39
Assam31.6730.8527.1627.7626.5124.9125.7224.7527.97
Bihar17.3826.6130.0230.0428.5028.6330.4134.9437.23
Gujarat50.2046.5442.8247.5544.2345.2242.6843.9742.83
Haryana30.5634.4230.6434.8135.6236.4439.8541.7041.6
Himachal Pradesh12.2430.1039.0146.0948.2559.5061.0662.5261.2
Karnataka50.5650.2650.4236.7946.0145.9346.3346.5946.88
Kerala64.3172.5585.0188.1990.3692.8592.9593.3792.39
Madhya Pradesh43.2441.6743.2744.2244.4042.6442.4742.6443.27
Maharashtra37.0739.9946.2239.6545.8845.9844.5143.7043.23
Punjab37.7616.2924.6026.2833.8343.2246.3352.7457.34
Rajasthan67.1468.9967.1066.8968.3469.1769.1467.7668.11
Orissa35.6436.3937.5836.2539.4038.6436.3933.5733.43
West Bengal18.2816.9926.5233.4233.6932.4433.2135.4540.39
Uttar Pradesh16.5514.5218.1021.6721.4217.1319.3922.1724.27
Tamil Nadu81.1182.0079.6682.9182.5984.0174.8484.0485.67
Jammu & Kashmir4.450.925.766.677.4717.7220.523.1125.69
India40.6542.5147.8748.1947.7248.1852.4452.8455.09
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
Participation of women has increased significantly in almost all states. In several states participation of women has surpassed men’s participation especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu which is especially due to the innovative implementation mechanism of Kudumbashree in Kerala. Women perceive that MGNREGA is giving them a sense of independence and security. Wages earned under MGNREGA have helped women in several ways. It helped them to pay the debt and retrieve the pawned gold; helped them in taking care of children’s education; enabled them to meet the day-to-day household expenses and facilitated them to save money (Sudha Narayan 2008) [5].
Fig 3.2: Women participation in major states
Except Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, in all other states the share of women in MGNREGS employment is much higher than one-third which can be clear from table 3.2. In many cases, it is much higher than the usual female work participation rate. These two aspects reflect the enhanced employment opportunity for women due to MGNREGS. This is despite the fact that the programme design does not make any specific provisions to meet the requirements of women workers in terms of types of works identified, work conditions, etc. In spite of such a situation, women’s participation appears to be high, indicating the needs of women workers as well as the vulnerabilities of families. What emerges as a pattern is that south Indian states appear to have a higher participation of women in MGNREGS compared to their work participation rate; while the same trend was not clearly visible in case of most north Indian states, the exception being Rajasthan with higher share of women in MGNREGS compared to their general work participation, and Himachal Pradesh with much lower MGNREGS participation by women compared to their usual work participation rate. In several other north Indian states, participation by women in MGNREGS is marginally above their work participation levels, and in many cases it is, in fact, less (e.g. UP, Uttaranchal, Punjab, and J&K). In states where women’s participation is weak and indicative of administrative discrimination in allocation of work, policies have to focus on sensitizing MNREGA staff to gender issues and enabling women to access work opportunities.
There are various explanations for the varying participation of women workers under the MGNREGS. Factors that have encouraged women workers’ participation include the nature of the job not requiring special knowledge and skill (Krishnaraj et al. 2004); outmigration of male family members (Bhatty 2006; Mehrotra 2008; Talukdar 2008); the employment opportunity being available at the doorstep (Khera and Nayak 2009); a tradition of rural women working in others’ fields; the provision of equal, non-discriminatory wages (ibid); and innovative experiments in implementation like the female mate system in Rajasthan (Khera 2008), synergisation of MGNREGS with Kudumbashree in Kerala (Vijayakumar and Thomas 2008), and in Bihar, gender differential tasks for uniform (minimum) wages (Pankaj 2008a). Thus, empowerment of rural women is unintended consequence of MGNREGS.
Some of the possible factors responsible for a high rate of participation in the southern states could be:
Cultural acceptance of female participation in the labour force
Influence of Self-Help Groups (SHGs)
Effective institutions at the State and local government level that are committed to promoting female participation in MGNREGS
Wage differentials between private sector and MGNREGS
Higher rationing in poorer states such that there are still a higher percentage of women in casual wage structure
The interstate variations in women participation can be attributed to a host of factors ranging from socio-cultural norms around female participation in labour force, mobility and intra household allocation of roles and responsibilities, opportunity costs in terms of wage differentials between private sector and MGNREGA, efficiency of implementing institutions at the State and local government levels and influence of Self-Help Groups and NGOs. For instance, in the case of Kerala, where MGNREGA has turned out to be an almost “ladies only” affair, the fact that Kudumbashree (a State government initiative for poverty eradication through networking of women's groups) has been placed in charge of its implementation has also made a striking difference to the level of women’s participation.
This convergence has played its part in evolving the economic identity of the rural woman-as skilled labourer and farmer cultivator. It has also created a development interface for women to negotiate with local governments and power structures, giving new meaning to participatory governance. In Rajasthan, active youth groups and other social movements have been deeply involved and encouraged women participation in the programme. As a result, general levels of awareness are much higher than they would have been if advocacy had been left exclusively to the district administration. Moreover, actual performance of MGNREGS in Kerala owes much in terms of women participation better than any other states especially because of the state government commitment and the advanced managerial role of Kudumbashree and area development supervisor in particular which mobilize, coordinate and manage the women workers in this scheme.
With a national participation rate of 55 percent, evidence suggests that women are participating in the scheme more actively than other works. Research also indicates that MGNREGA is an important work opportunity for women who would have otherwise remained unemployed or underemployed. However, the significant interstate variations in participation of women require further research and analysis.
The large inter-state variation in women’s participation however continues to be a relevant concern because it is indicative of many potential issues. On the one hand, it could be the case that women opt out of the MGNREGA, voluntarily or involuntarily. In the former case, women perhaps do not seek work because of competing opportunities. In the latter, there could be insurmountable social barriers, including but not restricted to norms for women working outside, especially for widows, child care roles, etc. A lack of awareness is also a significant problem in many parts of India. For many, the opportunity cost of seeking NREGA work might be too high. If there is uncertainty about whether or not they will get work they might prefer to seek work elsewhere or not work at all.
Women participation in Jammu and Kashmir
In Jammu and Kashmir, the participation of women in MGNERGA is very less as compared to other states. There is no doubt that women of Kashmir are very competent and hard working. Every individual woman here is capable of making changes and work in every sector and at level of society. The Kashmiri women are perhaps the most tolerant, courageous, talented and this is the reason that they are living in this troubled state with dignity and decorum despite the fact that they have suffered a lot in these past 25 years of protracted violence in the state. Women of Jammu and Kashmir are facing inequality with regard to work participation rate in general and participation under MGNERGA in particular. Gender equality and empowered women are catalysts for multiplying development efforts. Investments in gender equality yield the highest returns of all development investments. Women usually invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men.
Table 3.3: Women participation-national scenario and J&K
YearIndiaJ & K
2006-0740.654.45
2007-0842.510.92
2008-0947.875.76
2009-1048.196.67
2010-1147.727.47
2011-1248.1817.72
2012-1352.4420.5
2013-1452.8423.11
2014-1555.0925.69
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
One major provision of MGNREGS is employment generation without gender discrimination. However, the data reveals the existences of gender discrimination in work creation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where less than one-third (25.69 per cent during 2014-15) of all work days are given to women which is the lowest level among the states after Uttar Pradesh. At the all-India level, women make up 55.09 per cent of MGNREGS employment during the same period. The participation of women has increased drastically from its early years of implementation i.e. it was only 0.92 per cent during 2007-08 to 25.69 percent in 2014-15 and it also expected that state Jammu and Kashmir may achieve its minimum requirement of MGNREGS provision of 33 percent within two three years. The study conducted by Atieq and Showkeen (2013) found that the low share of female workers, especially in the J&K, does not reflect a lack of demand but the hesitancy of elected local governments to provide work opportunities to women and the unwillingness of men to send their wives and daughters to workplaces in the public domain, absence of childcare facilities and also inadequate security. At the core of gender discrimination are traditional and cultural factors and religious beliefs and superstitious, which typically also result in work discrimination against women. Thus data also reveals that women participation is very low in Jammu and Kashmir and there is a need to evolve innovative implementation mechanism for promoting their participation. Thus if we compare Jammu and Kashmir female work participation under MGNREGS with all India data, then we can observe much difference between the two which can be observed from the figure. Besides having equal chance of working and there is no wage discrimination among men and women, the state Jammu and Kashmir has one of the lowest women participating state under the scheme and MGNREGS is still distant from dream of achieving 33 percent participation of women.
Fig 3.3: Women participation (India and JK)
District-wise analysis
The table 3.4 shows that district wise work participation of women in Jammu and Kashmir under MGNERGA activities in various years. The participation of women increased tremendously from its early stage of implementation to later stage across the districts and varies across the district and division. The highest participation of women under MGNERGA during the financial year 2014-15 was in Kargil (59.67 percent), followed by Leh (58.65 percent), Srinagar (39.87 percent), Poonch (28.97) whereas the lowest participation was in Ramban (0), Budgam (4.43 percent), Udhampur (9.47 percent) Pulwama (9.81 percent).
Except districts like Kargil, Leh, Srinagar all other districts women’s participation is very low as compared to the national average of women participation in MGNERGA and also below the 33 percent which is minimum required women participation as per provision of MGNREGS. So it comes clear from the above table that there is gender discrimination or biasness exists under MGNERGA and needs special effort to improve women’s participation. Although participation of women under the scheme improved significantly, however wide a variation in women’s participation in MGNERGA exists across a district which is clear from table: 3.4. But the most interesting fact that in almost all districts of Jammu and Kashmir, workers especially women under MGNREGS are new entrants to the labour market.
Table 3.4: District-wise women participation in Jammu and Kashmir
S. No.Districts2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
1Anantnag3.9711.048.7828.8530.5524.8625.08
2Badgam2.6601.090.236.076.584.924.43
3Bandipora0.476.263.8913.1114.2917.0417.42
4Baramulla00011.5312.1812.0813.23
5Doda6.20.770.962.267.5225.1428.6931.3512.5
6Ganderbal07.3511.7614.9119.5523.0928.89
7Jammu5.40.511.860.323.946.1313.0314.73
8Kargil5651.855.255.7355.357.6559.67
9Kathua2.213.566.8711.6812.8820.7517.43
10Kishtwar8.5112.8713.4532.8933.7528.2729.58
11Kulgam1.6934.333037.2432.9423.06
12Kupwara0.060.361.061.913.0117.3216.8724.1126.84
13Leh (Ladakh)37.8726.2831.514052.4754.9458.65
14Poonch0.090.410.591.512.1111.2416.1522.0928.97
15Pulwama1.043.2437.487.66.369.039.81
16Rajauri0.334.040.337.1611.0413.5824.02
17Ramban3.5210.797.1417.8321.2324.430
18Reasi2.436.10.4920.222.3625.2827.27
19Samba12.317.066.6621.3824.2926.3524.66
20Shopian00.681.629.624.5512.4515.88
21Srinagar018.264.1726.7935.7129.6939.53
22Udhampur5.624.394.577.667.148.769.47
Grand Total4.450.925.766.677.4717.7220.523.1125.69
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
Fig 3.4: Women participation in J & K during 2014-15 (district-wise)
The Study conducted by Muktar Safeer (2013) regarding women participation under MGNREGS-Comparative study between Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir and found that very low percentage of women participation in Jammu and Kashmir under MGNREGS is mainly because of social barriers and mostly alternative jobs available for women in the state of Jammu and Kashmir like in Agricultural sector, Horticulture sector, and Tourism sector.
Divisional-wise analysis
Jammu and Kashmir is a multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-racial state and each group has its own distinct and peculiar cultural ethos, further deepened by geographical divisions created by formidable mountain ranges. Thus, the state comprises of three main divisions, namely, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
As far as the woman work participation is concerned there are marked differences observed across various divisions. The highest participation was found in Ladakh Division which comprises Leh and Kargil districts which has increased from 46.93 percent during 2006-07 to 59.16 percent in 2014-15. This is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parts of the state and its surreal landscape has often been termed as ‘moonscape’. People live a very traditional life, herding sheep and yak, and growing barley near the riverbeds in summer. In Ladakh division, Surprisingly Kargil district, despite being predominantly Muslim majority district shows highest participation which account for approximately 60 percent women participation during 2014-15. Their share has continuously remained between 55 to 60 percent across the years. Leh district is one of the most backward district of Jammu and Kashmir state at the bottom of 90 minority concentrated districts, but women participation under MGNREGS is high and increased from 37.87 percent during 2008-09 to 59.16 percent in 2014-15. Then Ladakh division is followed by Kashmir division where participation increased from 0.06 percent during 2006-07 to 20.42 percentages during 2014-15. Although there is tremendous sustained improvement in women participation over earlier period of implementation of the scheme, MGNREGS in Kashmir division shortfalls 33 percent, this is reserved for women as per MGNREGS provision.
Table 3.5: Women participation-Jammu division
S. No.Districts2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
1.Doda6.20.770.962.267.5225.1428.6931.3512.5
2.Jammu5.40.511.860.323.946.1313.0314.73
3.Kathua2.213.566.8711.6812.8820.7517.43
4.Kishtwar8.5112.8713.4532.8933.7528.2729.58
5.Poonch0.090.410.591.512.1111.2416.1522.0928.97
6.Rajauri0.334.040.337.1611.0413.5824.02
7.Ramban3.5210.797.1417.8321.2324.430
8.Reasi2.436.10.4920.222.3625.2827.27
9.Samba12.317.066.6621.3824.2926.3524.66
10.Udhampur5.624.394.577.667.148.769.47
Grand Total3.142.193.695.444.9415.9118.3621.3818.86
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
Among the Kashmir division highest women participating district is Srinagar district with 39.53 percent followed by Ganderbal district with 28.89 percent during 2014-15 and lowest participation is from Badgam district with 4.43 percent and Pulwama 9.81 percent during the same period. Low participation of women under scheme in the state is reported from Jammu division which is 18.86 percent during 2014-15 which rose from 3.14 percent in its early period of implementation.
The Jammu division comprises the plains, the hills and the mountains south and west of the mighty Pir Panjal range that separates Kashmir Valley from the plains of the subcontinent. Today, the Jammu region comprises ten districts. Among Jammu Division district Kishtwar accounts 29.58 percent followed by Poonch district with 28.97 and the low participation is from Udhampur and Doda district. If we compare Jammu and Kashmir divisions, women participation was comparatively better in Jammu division as compared to Kashmir in its early years of implementation, although both divisions show low level of participation. The low participation of women under MGNREGS in Jammu and Kashmir shows some sort of gender discrimination exist in the state. The figure 3.6 shows the comparative analysis of three divisions of Jammu and Kashmir women participation from 2006-07 to 2014-15.
Table 3.6: Women participation-Kashmir division
S. No.Districts2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
1.Anantnag3.9711.048.7828.8530.5524.8625.08
2.Badgam2.6601.090.236.076.584.924.43
3.Bandipora0.476.263.8913.1114.2917.0417.42
4.Baramulla00011.5312.1812.0813.23
5.Ganderbal07.3511.7614.9119.5523.0928.89
6.Kulgam1.6934.333037.2432.9423.06
7.Kupwara0.060.361.061.913.0117.3216.8724.1126.84
8.Pulwama1.043.2437.487.66.369.039.81
9.Shopian00.681.629.624.5512.4515.88
10.Srinagar018.264.1726.7935.7129.6939.53
Grand Total0.061.510.825.287.5316.5818.3819.0220.42
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
Table 3.7: Women participation-Ladakh division
S. No.Districts2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
1.Kargil5651.855.255.7355.357.6559.67
2.Leh (Ladakh)37.8726.2831.514052.4754.9458.65
46.9339.0443.3547.8653.8856.2959.16
Source: www.mgnrega.com.in
Fig 3.5: Women participation (division-wise)
Social and economic fallouts for women through MGNREGS
In the ten years since its inception, there is evidence from administrative data that the MGNREGA has indeed drawn a large number of women to worksites. Testimonies from field surveys support the idea that the MGNREGA has been inclusive and empowering of women (Dheeraja and Rao, 2010; Pankaj and Tankha, 2009; Sudarshan, 2006). At the same time, however, women continue to face some stiff challenges. Large interstate variations in the extent of women’s participation for instance indicate that the MGNREGA has not been uniformly inclusive of women (Drèze and Oldiges, 2007; Dutta, et al., 2012). Anecdotal accounts from the field suggest that in many places, social norms against women working outside the household continue to prevent them from participating in the MGNREGA, not to mention the many constraints that they face in the MGNREGA worksite. There is also some preliminary evidence based on data from household surveys that point to greater rationing of women at worksites suggesting that women who seek MGNREGA work face a greater probability of not obtaining work than do men, given that they have sought work (Dutta, et al., 2012). Various research studies found that the adverse impacts of MGNREGA on women are follows;
As regards other works, when they got some support from their husbands, most of the domestic work like cooking, and care related works they used to do after return from work. This means, their work hours used to get extended due to MNREGA. Working hours for women have increased; leisure time has vanished; and there are physical and emotional strains related to such work.
They have to face some harassment from the male ‘mate’ who pressurise them to work harder. Also they have to face verbal sexual harassment and verbal abuses. Moreover, they are teased and snubbed by male workers at worksite.
Their worry about small children who are left alone at home in absence of child care facility has yet to find some satisfactory solution. The essential facilities such as crèche, caretaker, water and medical services, resting place, first-aid, recreational facility for children etc. and other affirmative action for the promotion of gender were generally absent in the worksites.
An adverse indirect impact of women’s participation has been noticed in the abstention of the girl child in school who had to stay back home to take care of young siblings and perform household activities.
Lack of information about their entitlement about work on demand also obstructed women to have her share of work.
Poor participation of women due to lack of interest in labour work.
Presence of tenacious social norms and hazardous nature of work and high standards of productivity women are reluctant to take up the task.
At times women got registered and after having job cards were turned away from the worksite paving the way for men.
Illegal presences of contractor on the worksite obstruct women employment as their preference goes for young and healthy men.
Delayed payments also come in the way of participation of poor women. Delays in wage payments make things particularly difficult for single women, who cannot afford to wait as they are the sole earners in the family. When the wages do not come on time, they are often forced to return to previous, less preferred forms of employment. The money is released only after submission of the completion report of every project, which is a relatively long process. The workers hardly have the patience or can ill afford to wait so long for payments.
Under-rating of women’s work is, causing discrimination. “The work of the women is thus “invisible” and seen as “attendant” and almost “dispensable” in nature and hence not meriting measurement. This leads to the wage differential especially as there is a sexual division in such works. It also pointed out that men work with tools, while women do not. For instance, in NREGA money is paid for purchase and sharpening of shovels used by men but no effort is made to address the drudgery of the tasks done by women”.
Ironically, in some cases MGNERGS workers are only women. When in 2008’s assessment by the MORD it is reported that Kerala has the most number of female NREGA workers in the country, and the projection for the year 2010 showed 95 per cent of NREGA workers in the state would be women. Why more women come for NREGA work is because men in Kerala are not ready to work for Rs 150 a day, the wage that is paid. Though some researchers have accepted that it’s extra money for women, but it is a strong contributory factor for inequity. “Men can get anything between Rs 350 and 500 a day for manual labour, so they don’t find NREGA appealing”, says Tany Abraham, district coordinator, Kudumbashree.
The potential of MGNREGS has not been tapped to develop such facilities in villages that can facilitate woman in saving her time and energies, such as projects relating accessible clean drinking water or creating alternative gas plants to be used for cooking instead of burning wood.
Non-availability of work on demand.
While identifying the shelf of projects at GP & Block level, very little was considered as regards suitability of women. In other words, hardly any project was selected which had specific women content both in terms of suitability for women workers and in terms of providing direct benefit to women.
One of them is the introduction of wage payments through banks. When a single account is opened per job card (as happened in some of the sample villages), the account is generally opened in the name of a male member of the family. This means that women have to rely on men to withdraw their wages. Ideally, there should be one account per registered MNREGA worker, or at least joint bank accounts instead of men-only accounts.
The awareness of MNREGA and workers entitlements is very low. In many villages, there has been a deliberate attempt not to disseminate complete information regarding the MNREGA. Most people are not even aware of the fact that they should apply for work and also of getting unemployment allowance in case of not getting work.
In some cases the nature of work is not suitable for women workers. Most of the projects selected being related to rural connectivity and renovation of local water bodies involving earth work required application of physical force.
Various research studies found the adverse impact of MGNREGA on women health. Prabavathy. M (2013) pointed out that women in India have three areas to manage- house, child and office. This multiple role of her causes problems at domestic front, professional front or both. Rebecca Holmes et al., (2011) notes that while women work more hours than men, by combining domestic and productive work, MGNREGA has no provision for flexible working hours to ease their time pressures or support their duel responsibilities. Kiran Bhatty (2006) claimed that women worker in NREGP are forced to take medicine every day to get some physical relief. The CAG report, 2013 chapter 13 stated that about eighty per cent of the beneficiaries reported that one or more of worksite facilities were not provided in the worksites.
References
Akhtar, S.M. Jawed, Azeez, N.P. Abdul & Alam, Md. Masroor (2011), “Index of Financial Inclusion through MGNREGS: Problems and Prospects”, International Academic Journal for Applied Economics, Volume 2, No. 2, PP 139-154, Chennai, Nov -Oct 12.
Azeez, N.P. Abdul (2015), “MGNREGS: Problems and Prospects”, edited book by P. Balamirtham (ed.) MGNREGP: Challenges, Problems and Remedies, Vivekananda College, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
Pankaj, Tankha (2010), “Empowerment Effects of the NREGS on Women Workers: A Study in Four States”, Economic & Political Weekly, July 24.
Prabavathy. M. Factors Affecting Work like Balance Women Professionals in Tamil Nadu, Research Explorer, Vol. II, issue.9, 2013, 52.
Rebecca Holmes, Nidhi Sadana and Saswatee Rath. An opportunity for change? Gender analysis of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Project Briefing No53, February 2011, 1- 4.
Bhatty Kiran (2006), “Employment Guarantee and Child Right”, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol.41, No.20, May 20-26, 1965-1967.
Atieq and Showkeen (2013), “A Study of Barriers and Challenges to Women’s Participation w33in MGNREGA in Kashmir”, Excellence International Journal of Education and Research (Multi-subject Journal), Volume 1 Issue 1, September.
Saharia R.P (2014), “MGNREGA: Empowerment of Women through Employment Generation”, International Journal of Reviews and Research in Social Science, 2(2), April-June.
Narayanan, S. (2008), “Employment Guarantee, Women’s Work and Childcare”, Economic & Political Weekly, March 1, pp 10-13.
Sudha N and Upasak D (2014), “Employment Guarantee for Women in India Evidence on Participation and Rationing in the MGNREGA from the National Sample Survey”, WP-2014-017, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, June. http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2014-017.pdf
Mukhtar Safeer (2013), "Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Women Participation: A Case Study of Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir", International Journal of Retailing & Rural Business Perspectives, Pezzottaite Journals, Volume 2, Number 4, October-December.
Chapter - 4
Factors Determining Participation of Women under MGNREGS
Chapter - 4
Factors Determining Participation of Women under MGNREGS
As MGNREG is a right-based programme, participation of the community enriches the spirit of the programme. The Act empowers ordinary people to play an active role in the implementation of employment guarantee schemes through Gram Sabhas, social audits, participatory planning and other means. It is very important to make sure that the disadvantaged groups, low status groups, minority groups and poorer groups are not left out in consultation process and participation process. No doubt that NREGA is the first Act in its type which is more inclusive in nature. While providing employment under this scheme, priority shall be given to women in such a way that at least one-third of the beneficiaries (33 per cent) shall be women who have registered and requested for work under the Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, Schedule II, Section 6).
The factors such as culture, history, government policy, and social, political, and economic structures influence participation of people in general and women in specific under MGNREGS. Individual and group motivators appear to be context-specific and locality-bound rather than universally-definable. There is a wide range of factors that could hinder and promotion of participation, and these often lead to the emergence of nonparticipation. Such obstacles prohibiting participation abound: they range from institutional, socio-cultural, technical, logistical, and are spread over a seemingly-endless spectrum. Factors facilitating or hindering are also ‘external’, ‘internal’, and / or a combination of both. ‘External obstacles’ refer to those factors outside the end-beneficiary that encourage or inhibit or prevent true participation taking place. External obstacles suggest the role of development professionals, the broader government orientation towards promoting participation, the tendency among development agencies to apply their strategies and approaches to encourage participation. Internal obstacles refer to conflict within a household and a lack of interest in getting involved.
There is no ‘magic list’ of critical factors for participation of women in MGNREGS. So an attempt was made to list out the factors that motivate and hinder women participation. Based upon the responses the factors were identified and divided as personal, motivating and hindering factors of participation of women under MGNREGS in Kashmir Valley.
Econometric modeling
We assume that several socio-economic and political factors either hinder or help job seekers (promote) to participate in MGNREGS in this study. For determining various factors which may promote and hinder the participation of women under MGNREGS, we have applied Logit regression model which run by using STATA software. Logit regression is a useful way of describing the relationship between one or more independent variables and a binary response variable, expressed as a probability that has only two values, such as dummy dependent variable assuming value one if a respondent is participating and otherwise zero. Variables used in this study are mostly binary response variables.
This study is conducted by using primary data which have been collected during November-December 2015 from four districts of Kashmir valley and one district from Ladakh division by taking total observation of 400 women. Specifically, we tried to identify various factors pertaining to participation of MGNREGS and factors that either promote or hinder household participation in MGNREGS. The Logit regression model was used to assess the influence of various predictor variables on the participation in MGNREGA by taking two dependent variable of participation under scheme as a binary outcome variable. The factors which generally promote the participation under MGRNEGS and identified fourteen such variables namely minimum wages, mode of payment, timely payment of wage, worksite facilities, work on their own land, attitude of officials, assets created under the scheme, timely employment, support from family, membership in SHGs, higher than market wage rate, self-dignity, equal wage rate for men and female and group work are used. All the aforementioned variables are expected to give positive response to participation in MGNREGS.
Personal factors
Factors like characteristics of a person, situation or a person’s environment that force a person to participate though not really interested are considered as Personal/vulnerability factors. Explanatory variables selected are based on the assumption that the socio-economic status and education of the job seekers along with several other attributes might influence whether a potential job seeker is participating or not in this programme. In present study an attempt was made to list out some of such factors and they are family size, land possession, sex, age, education, marital status, caste, religion and income. It is expected that higher family size, landless or marginalised land holders, lower income group, illiterate, married and lower-caste households like SCs, STs and OBCs, people who are engaged in low paid wage labour, unskilled labours and those who are living in mud or kaccha houses are more likely to participate under MGNREGS in their daily lives. It is useful to assess how household level vulnerable aspects impact MGNREGS utilisation.
log (π/(1-π))=β_0+β_1 X_1+ β_2 X_2+β_3 X_3+β_4 X_4+β_5 X_5+⋯⋯⋯+β_10 X_10
π= Women are participating under MGNREGS
1-π= Women are not participating under MGNREGS
X_1= Household size (The total members of family)
X_2= Land possessed(Total land possession of the Household)
X_3= Age (Age of the respondent)
X_4= Illiteracy(Dummy variable with value 1 for illiterates and 0 for otherwise)
X_5= Married (Dummy variable with value 1 for married and 0 for otherwise)
X_6= OBC (Dummy variable value 1 if belonging to OBC and 0 for otherwise)
X_7= SC (Dummy variable =1 for SC and 0 for otherwise)
X_8= ST (Dummy variable =1 for ST and 0 for otherwise)
X_9= Religion (Dummy variable =1 for Muslim and 0 for otherwise)
X_10= Income (Dummy variable =1 for income <5000/pm and 0 for otherwise)
Table 4.1: Summary of personal factors respondents
VariablesRespondentsPercentage
Religion
Muslim36691.50
Hindu3007.50
Sikhs41.00
Category/Community
SC2907.25
ST9223.00
OBC4210.50
General23759.25
Age Group
Less than 1800
18- 25215.25
26- 358421.00
36- 4515137.75
46- 6014436.00
Above 6000
Educational Qualification
Illiterate17443.50
Literate22656.50
Marital Status
Married38295.50
Unmarried1804.50
Monthly Income
Below 500019849.50
Above 500020250.50
APL/ BPL
APL19849.50
BPL20250.50
Family Size
Less than 529673.93
5- 1010426.07
Source: Author calculations
Some of the estimated regressors (independent variable) are statistically significant at the 0.05 estimated levels. Table: 4.2 presents the results on the determinants of participation of women under MGNREGS. The results are quite robust and consistent with what is theoretically expected. The total numbers of observations are 400. Also reported is an overall test of model significance called LR chi2 (11) (likelihood chi-square test statistic). The number in the parenthesis indicates the number of degrees of freedom. In this model, there are eleven predictors, so there are eleven degrees of freedom. Prob > chi2 is the probability of obtaining the chi-square statistic given that the null hypothesis is true. This is, of course, the p-value, which is compared to a critical value at .05 or .01 to determine if the overall model is statistically significant. In this case, the model is statistically significant because the p-value is less than .000. Thus likelihood ratio chi-square of 501.35 with a p-value of 0.0000 tells us that our model as a whole fits significantly better than an empty model (i.e., a model with no predictors).
The level of household size is positively related to participation and is highly significant, which indicates that larger is the size of household, the higher the likelihood that they will participate under MGNREGS. This can be justified in the context of families having surplus labour that are seeking jobs during on and off-seasons owing to more number of adult members.
Table 4.2: Results of logit estimates of personal factors of participation
ParticipationCoef.Std. Err.zP>z[95% Conf.Interval]
Age.1064374.0585681.820.069-.0083537.2212286
Family size1.401327.44594613.140.002.52728882.275365
Land possessed-1.816312.4945013-3.670.000-2.785517-.8471076
Illiterate.7404714.81229150.910.062-.85159062.332533
Married1.3669591.6768440.820.415-1.9195954.653513
OBC1.0620422.4751080.430.668-3.7890825.913165
SC.56954332.1262840.270.789-3.5978974.736984
ST1.8773121.3034121.440.150-.67732854.431952
Religion/Muslim-.30915742.122591-0.150.884-4.4693593.851044
Income-11.878452468.115-0.000.996-4849.2954825.539
BPL16.835672468.1150.010.995-4820.5814854.253
_cons-10.534444.1354-2.550.011-18.63968-2.429209
Number of obs400
LR chi2(11)501.35
Prob > chi20.0000
Pseudo R20.9041
Log likelihood-26.584189
Source: Author calculations
It is found that there is negative relation between land holding and participation in MGNREGS which is highly significant. In rural India landholding is considered as a proxy for wealth. As a result, our econometric analysis shows that higher possession of land will have less chance to participate in the scheme that means this scheme is focused on poor. It indicates that households having more land for cultivation purposes are less likely to participate in the MGNREGS and the landless poor are more participating in the programme. As expected, age of the household head is positively and significantly related to participation, which implies that elder women are more likely to participate in Scheme compared to their younger counterparts.
It is also found that the illiteracy is also positively and significantly related to participation, which means that especially in the rural areas, those who are illiterate, they have more chance to participate in MGNREGS. When the people become more educated there is a less chance to participate in the programme. This implies that MGNREGS is successful in its objective of targeting people especially uneducated rural unskilled people.
Another important determinant of participation is the marital status. It is also found that there is positive and significant relationship between participation and marital status. Before the marriage the workers are reluctant to participate in the programme, because their marital status doesn’t allow involvement in such activities and married workers are more likely to participate compared to unmarried women.
As expected, we find that the incidence of participation is higher among the minorities women like SCs, STs and OBCs. Low resource base and the economic condition of such groups, force them to participate under MGNREGS. Facilities provided under the scheme as well as fixed and equal wage rate under the scheme are the basic reason for participating under scheme.
One of other factor that determines of participation in MGNREGS is the religion. Our analysis shows that Muslim community participation is negatively related, but it is statistically insignificant. Although Muslim women are reluctant to participate in the Scheme mainly because of culture, tradition and religious beliefs of community especially among women that they will not go outside for job. In Kashmir itself, with high status of women in society especially within the family, reluctant to send them to outside for work especially in public places. There is no such tradition and custom in valley that woman a work other than their home activities.
It is found that there is negative relation between level of income and participation in MGNREGS indicating households having higher level of income are less likely that they are participate in the MGNREGS. Last but not least, as expected it is also found that there is positive and significant relationship between BPL and participation in the Scheme. It shows that there is more chance that BPL women will participate in Scheme as compared APL women.
Promoting factors
log (π/(1-π))=β_0+β_1 X_1+ β_2 X_2+β_3 X_3+β_4 X_4+β_5 X_5+⋯⋯⋯+β_14 X_14
π= Women are participating under MGNREGS
1-π= Women are not participating under MGNREGS
X_1= Minimum wages (1 for if minimum wages promote participation, 0 otherwise)
X_2= Mode of payment (1 for if mode of payment promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_3= Timely wages (1 for if timely payment of wages, 0 otherwise)
X_4= Worksite facilities (1 for if it promotes participation, 0 otherwise)
X_5= Work on their own land (1 for if a work own land, 0 otherwise)
X_6= Attitude/sensitivity of officials (1 for if it promotes 0 otherwise)
X_7= Assets created which are beneficial (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_8= Timely employment (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_9= Support from family (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_10= SHG membership (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_11= Higher wages than market wage (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_12= Self-esteem/self-dignity (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_13= Equal wages (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
X_14= Group Work (1 for if it promotes, 0 otherwise)
There are few factors which encourage and motivate respondents to participate in MGNREGS. Such factors are listed and out of them interestingly equal wage rate (96.5 per cent) and mode of wage payment (73.75 per cent) are ranked high. Work taken up on their-own land and group work were found major factors by which the respondents came to know the benefits of MGNREGS and participated in it. 96.5 per cent respondents reported that the equal wage rate for men and women for work is one of the major factors which promote the participation of women under scheme in Kashmir valley. The mode of payment of wage under scheme is through bank i.e. Wage earnings of workers are to be paid directly to the person concerned either through bank or post office savings account which may reduce corruption and can also transfer amount to targeted people without any intermediation. Although all other factors promoting the participation of women under scheme, but found to be less significant in Kashmir valley especially the factor like wage rate does not play any role in promoting the participation because of low wage rate under the scheme. The details are presented in Table: 4.3.
Table 4.3: Number of respondent supported promoting factors
VariablesTotalNo. of RespondentPer cent
Minimum wages400266.5
Mode of payment40029573.75
Timely wages4008822
Worksite facilities4009824.5
Work taken up on their own land40013233
Attitude/sensitivity of officials4008621.5
Assets created which are beneficial4008120.25
Timely employment4005012.5
Support from family400194.75
SHG membership40061.5
Higher wages than market wage40041
Self-esteem/self-dignity400112.75
Equal wages40038696.5
Group Work40012030
Source: Author calculations
Some of the estimated regressors (independent variable) are statistically significant at the 0.05 estimated levels. Table: 4.4 presents the results on the promoting factor which leads to participation of women under MGNREGS. The results are quite robust and consistent with what is theoretically expected. The total numbers of observations are 400. In this model, there are fourteen predictors, so there are fourteen degrees of freedom. Prob > chi2 is the probability of obtaining the chi-square statistic given that the null hypothesis is true. This is, of course, the p-value, which is compared to a critical value at .05 or .01 to determine if the overall model is statistically significant. Thus likelihood ratio chi-square of 72.83 with a p-value of 0.0000 tells us that our model as a whole fits significantly better than an empty model (i.e., a model with no predictors).
Table 4.4: Results of logit estimates of promoting factors of participation
ParticipationCoef.Std. Err.ZP>z[95% Conf. Interval]
Min wage.0423114.43728310.100.523-.8147479.8993706
Mode payment.4766469.27239961.750.080-.05724651.01054
Timely wage-.0663456.2998312-0.220.425-.654004.5213127
Facilities.1799392.262370.690.193-.3342964.6941749
Work own land-.2790123.2531343-1.100.070-.7751463.2171218
Attitude officials-.369171.2779037-1.330.184-.9138523.1755103
Asset.2890615.26952761.070.284-.2392028.8173258
Timely employment2.44358.48350675.050.0001.4959243.391235
Support family2.313057.82398592.810.005.69807463.92804
SHG-.4016434.8415833-0.480.633-2.0511161.24783
More than market wage-.6676641.9323784-0.720.474-2.4950921.159764
Self-dignity1.839433.80471492.290.022.26222053.416645
Equal wage1.831972.81608942.240.025.2324663.431478
Group work.0177035.24338720.070.042-.4593266.4947336
_cons-2.412477.8432318-2.860.004-4.065181-.7597735
Number of observation400
LR chi2(14)72.83
Prob > chi20.0000
Log likelihood-240.84539
Pseudo R20.1313
Source: Author calculations
The minimum wage rate is positively related to participation and is highly significant at 0.10, which indicates that the particular level of minimum wage given guarantees their earning, the higher the likelihood that they will participate under MGNREGS. This can be justified in the contest of volatility of wage rate during on and off-seasons jobs.
As expected, mode of wage payment is positively and significantly related to participation under MGNREGS, which implies mode of payment of wage under scheme is through bank i.e. Wage earnings of workers are to be paid directly to the person concerned either through bank or post office savings account which may reduce corruption and can also transfer amount to targeted people without any intermediation can promote people to participate in MGNREGS especially women. It is found that there is negative relation between timely wage payment and participation in MGNREGS which is not highly significant. This inverse relationship can be justified that from the field survey number of respondents reported that the delayed wage payment which disincentives women to participate under the MGNREGS. It is also found that the worksite facilities are positively related to access the job card, which means that especially in the rural areas, most of the people are illiterate and those who are illiterate, they have more chance to participate in MGNREGS. When the people become more educated there is a less chance to participate in the programme. This implies that MGNREGS is successful in its objective of targeting people especially uneducated rural unskilled people.
Another important determinant of participation of women is the marital status. It is also found that there is positive and significant relationship between participation and marital status. Before the marriage the workers are reluctant to participate in the programme, because their marital status doesn’t allow involving such activities and married workers are more likely to participate compared to unmarried women. As expected, we find that the incidence of participation is higher among the minorities women like SCs, STs and OBCs. Low resource base and the economic condition of such groups, force them to participate under MGNREGS. Facilities provided under the scheme as well as fixed and equal wage rate under the scheme are the basic reason for participating under scheme.
There is no gender discrimination with regard to minimum wage rate prevalent under MGNREGA in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and they are being paid equal wages for equal work. This is especially significant in a context where women often receive a lower wage than men do even for similar tasks.
Hindering factors
There is a wide range of factors that could hinder and constrain promotion of participation, and these often lead to the emergence of nonparticipation of women in Kashmir valley. In spite of better possibilities of women’s participation in MGNREGA work, there are certain problems associated with it such as social taboos such as women going for work outside home and that too taking up earthen work in other people’s farm is a practice that is not accepted socially. The presence of illegal contractors has led to the harassment of women workers, and working conditions have been found to be exploitative. Since women are ignorant about the legal entitlements to get work on demand, they are very often turned away by the contractors who think (women) they are less efficient. Although the Act requires that when there are more than five children under the age of six present at a worksite, a female worker (Aaya) should be appointed to take care of them, such a facility is neglected. This has discouraged participation of women, especially breast-feeding mothers. Again, certain kinds of work such as digging of wells etc., limit participation of women. Apart from this, delayed payment of wages also makes women’s participation difficult, particularly for women who are the sole earners of their families.
There are some factors which act as barriers for the women to participate in MGNREGS even though they are willing to work. Among the surveyed non beneficiaries reported that when they approached Punch and Sarpanch availing the employment under MGNREGS, they replied you people are not possible (less efficient) to do such work which going to undertake under the Scheme. That means the nature of work undertaken is little bit difficult to do for women. It also reported and observed from field study that there is widespread use of highly developed machines and capital intensive techniques instead of labour.
log (π/(1-π))=β_0+β_1 X_1+ β_2 X_2+β_3 X_3+β_4 X_4+β_5 X_5+⋯⋯⋯+β_15 X_15
π= Women are participating under MGNREGS
1-π= Women are not participating under MGNREGS
X_1= Household work load (1 for if it hinder participation, 0 otherwise)
X_2= Own agriculture works (1 for if it hinder participation, 0 otherwise)
X_3= Health problems (1 for if it hinder participation, 0 otherwise)
X_4= Delayed payment (1 for if it hinders participation, 0 otherwise)
X_5= Untimely employment (1 for if a work own land, 0 otherwise)
X_6= Lower than market wages (1 for if it hinders 0 otherwise)
X_7= Unequal wages (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_8= Harassment at worksite (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_9= Gender & caste discrimination (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_10= Attitude of officials (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_11= Group arrangement (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_12= Inadequate worksite facilities (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_13= Religious problems (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_14= Security problems (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise)
X_15= Rigid timings (1 for if it hinders, 0 otherwise
From the list of fifteen identified hindering factors of participation it is found that some factors are highly significant which hinder the women to participate in MGNREGS. Such factors are listed and out of them lower wage rate paid under the Scheme is the one of the major hindering and de-motivating factor of participation which account 97.5 per cent of respondent followed by delayed wage payment (89.5 per cent), untimely wage payment (85 per cent), household workload (83.5 percent) and own agricultural work (82 per cent) are identified as major hindering factors of women participation. Religious restrictions, security problem and rigid timing also found major factors by which the respondents reported as hindering factor. Although all other factors also hindering the participation of women under scheme, but found to be less significant in Kashmir valley. The details are presented in Table: 4.5.
A logit analysis has been carried out to find the various hindering factors that affect the participation of women under MGNREGS in Kashmir valley. A dummy dependent variable assuming value 1 if a women participating and otherwise zero has been generated and fifteen independent variables are taken into consideration. All the estimated regressors (independent variable) are statistically significant at the 0.05 estimated levels. The results are quite well and consistent with what is theoretically expected. The total numbers of observations are 400. In this model, there are fourteen predictors, so there are fourteen degrees of freedom. Prob > chi2 is the probability of obtaining the chi-square statistic given that the null hypothesis is true. Thus likelihood ratio chi-square of 532.71 with a p-value of 0.0000 tells us that our model as a whole fits significantly better than an empty model (i.e., a model with no predictors). The logit regression model tried to know the influence of the factors hindering participation found to be significant but not complete in the sense, it could explain hardly 18.33 per cent of variation in participation score. The result of estimated logit model of hindering factors of Participation has been specified below table: 4.6
Table 4.5: Number of respondent supported factors
VariablesTotalNo. of RespondentPer cent
Household work load40033383.25
Health problems4008020.0
Untimely employment40034085.0
Unequal wages40010225.5
Gender & caste discrimination4008521.2
Group arrangement400389.50
Religious problems40031077.5
Rigid timings40024060.0
Own agriculture works40032882.0
Delayed payment40035889.5
Lower than market wages40039097.5
Harassment at worksite40012932.2
Attitude of officials40019047.5
Inadequate worksite facilities40022857.0
Security problems40031879.5
Source: Author calculations
The factor household workload is positively related to participation under MGNREGS and found to be high statistically significant, which implies the high workload of women in house itself put high pressure can hinder them to participate in MGNREGS. If they do job under the Scheme working hours for women have increased; their leisure time has vanished; and they have to bear with physical and emotional strains. Women that they get up quite early to fetch water, prepare food, and make arrangements for the children before going to the worksite. Even during the official lunch break, some of them return home to take care of the children and other family members. Thus workloads of women act as a one of the hindering factor for participating under MGNREGS.
Another factor is own agricultural work which is positively related to participation of women under MGNREGS and found to be high statistically significant, which mean agricultural work own land put women to do along with men which hinder the participation. Kashmir has a traditionally predominantly agricultural economy and they producing mostly agricultural product for commercial and non-commercial purposes with the help of family members including women which generally inversely affect the participation under the Scheme.
Table 4.6: Results of logit estimates of hindering factors of participation
ParticipationCoef.Std. Err.ZP>z[95% Conf. Interval]
Household workload.0489714.004042112.120.000.041049.0568939
Own agri works.0799385.0005465146.270.001.0788674.0810097
Health problems-.0987037.0008274120.510.325.0980821.1013253
Delayed payment.4238614.0047454-96.570.006-.4675623-.4489605
Untimely employment.0863509.00370723.560.000.0800852.0946166
Lower wages.1321485.0008958136.350.092.1203928.1239043
Unequal wages-.00154088.42068-159.10.000-.0013573-.0013243
Harassment@ jobsite-1.003606.0044127227.890.000.99695721.014255
Gender & caste discrimin-1.643627.022483-73.460.000-1.695693-1.607561
Attitude of officials.1675676.003964649.080.012.1867972.202338
Work site facilities.7715603.0047967165.650.003.785159.8039616
Religious problems.8921648.009242488.410.000.79905.8352796
Security problems.0624764.0042091-13.420.000-.064726-.0482268
Rigid timings1.369227.0052797-249.80.082-1.329575-1.308879
_cons-4.172174.023445-220.30.000-4.211125-4.119223
No. observation400
LR chi2 (14)532.71
Prob > chi20.0000
Pseudo R20.1833
Source: Author calculations
As expected, delayed wage payment and untimely employment are positively related to women participation under MGNREGS as hindering factor. Delays in wage payments have emerged as one of the main weaknesses of MGNREGS over the last seven years. According to section 3(3) of MGNREGA, “It is essential to ensure that wages are paid on time. Workers are entitled to being paid on a weekly basis, and in any case within a fortnight of the date on which work was done”. 73.7 per cent respondents reported that there is a delay in payment of wage. It took more than 15 days to get wage in the case of around three-fourth of the respondents. Most of the women working under Scheme in Kashmir valley is due to their backwardness in economic condition and poverty and they have to wait for one or two month for getting wage which they can’t expect. Delays in wage payments make things particularly difficult for single women, who cannot afford to wait as they are the sole earners in the family. When the wages do not come on time, they are often forced to return to previous, less preferred forms of employment. The money is released only after submission of the completion report of every project, which is a relatively long process. The workers hardly have the patience or can ill afford to wait so long for payments. So the delayed wage payment became one of the hindering factors for participating under the Scheme.
The lower wage rate paid under MGNREGS is another important factor which found to be positively related and act as a barrier to the less participation of women in the Scheme. Women of Kashmir valley were of the opinion and fact that in MGNERGS work the wages given are so less as compared to other private work daily wages. The factors like harassment at worksite and gender and caste discrimination are negatively related participation of women and found to be highly significant indicating that these factors are not act a barrier for them to participating under MGNREGS. The attitude of officials including Punch and Sarpanch and presence of contractors are positively related to women participation by acting as hindering factor.
Another factor is inadequate worksite facilities is positively related and highly significant. It is justified in the sense that worksite facilities comprise the provision of drinking water, shade for rest, medical facilities and crèche facilities to workers. From the field work it understood that no such facilities are provided in worksite even drinking water. In the absence of (proper) crèche facilities, lactating women and women with young children leave their children at home while working at the worksite.
Other major factors are religious and security problems which are positively related to participation as hindering factors for women in Kashmir valley. It is found that certain religious practices forbid women from working outside the home. In the Kashmir majority of people belongs to the Muslim community, and Muslim women who practice the Purdah system refrain from appearing in public, limiting their ability to participate in different public activities, even when they are willing and physically capable of participating and are in need of the income. It is also found that in Kashmir is not safe for women working outside or any public place due to absence of internal security.
Thus, there are some factors which act as constraints or obstacles for women to participate in MGNREGS even though they are willing to work. Out of such factors, untimely employment, delayed payments, rigid timings, household work load, own agricultural works, wages less than market wages, worksite harassment, insensitivity of officials, lack of mandatory worksite facilities, religious and security problems etc. are also included in such category.
References
Ministry of Rural Development (2005), “The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA)-Operational Guidelines (2005)”, Government of India, New Delhi, p: 1.
Von Braun, J. (1995), “Employment for Poverty Reduction and Food Security: Concepts, Research Issues and Overview”, in Von Braun, J. (Ed.) Employment for Poverty Reduction and Food Security, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C, 1-20.
Gujarati, D.N and Sangeetha (2007), “Basic Econometrics”, Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi.
Dheeraja et.al (2013), Research Study on ‘Factors Facilitating Participation of Women in Mahatma Gandhi NREGS’, Research Reports Series - 98, NIRD, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, HYDERABAD.
Akhtar, S.M. Jawed & Azeez, N.P. Abdul (2013), “An Econometric Analysis of Determinants of Employment Guarantee Scheme”, published in International Academic Journal for Applied Economics, Chennai, No. 4, November, ISSN 229-564.
Chapter - 5
Women Participation and Empowerment
Chapter - 5
Women Participation and Empowerment
Empowerment of women is a multidimensional process which enables women to realize power in the different spheres of life i.e. social, political, economic etc. For the development of the society equal participation of both men and women is a must. Since rural women remain untouched by rural development their empowerment is a must for ensuring and mobilizing their greater participation in developmental activities. Women empowerment is synonymous with the achievement of equality of men and women. In the concept of empowerment the word power entails the capacity to act independently and the ability to influence others. An important objective of MGNREGA has been to encourage women’s effective participation, both as workers and as administrators. Empowerment of women is considered in terms of economic, social and political aspects of MGNREGS.
Economic empowerment of women through MGNREGS
Economic empowerment of women due to MGNREGS is reviewed from following angles.
Employment opportunity
Women as wage earner
Reduced differential wages and wage parity:
Control rights of women in earning from MGNREGA
Financial inclusion
Bargaining power
Employment opportunity
MGNREGA contains provisions which cater objective of socio-economic empowerment of women with respect to wages and work opportunity. So far as women participation in MGNREGA in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, the women participation rate is around 25 per cent in 2014-15as against 0.97 per cent in 2007-08 which shows that women work participation rate is an increasing trend in the State.
Women as wage and income earner
The MGNREGS has helped the women to become wage earner. The wages earned contribute to the family income, which is used for clothing, nutrition and health care of the members. The MGNREGS employment of women has helped them to play an equal role in decision making.
Reduced differential wages and wage parity
MGNREGA has reduced traditional gender wage discrimination, particularly in the public works sector. As per NSSO 66th round, the average wage for labour in MGNREGA was Rs 90.9 per day for men, and for women it was Rs 87 per day. The wage difference was larger for labour in other public works; Rs 98.3 per day for men and Rs 86.1 per day for women. Other studies also suggest an upward movement of unskilled wages for women post-MGNREGA. For instance, in Kerala, the wages for women in agriculture and forest work rose from Rs 70-80 in 2007 to Rs 110-25 in 2009. In fact, real wages increased more rapidly for female workers than for male workers. In a survey of 75 villages across four states- Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala and Rajasthan it was found that the ratio of male-female wage rates, on an average, declined from 1.40 in 2007-08 to 1.30 in 2009-10. Parity in wage rates also appears to be positively affecting participation of women in the Scheme. States that have a high wage differential in casual labour market (for works other than MGNREGA) are likely to have a greater participation of women in MGNREGA, which assures wage equity. An intra-household substitution effect appears to be at work. In other words, when casual labour market opportunities are better for men than they are for women, it is easier for women to get the (limited) number of jobs available under the Scheme. However, Punjab (43 per cent participation of women) and Haryana (36 per cent participation of women) appear to be the exceptions; these States have high differences between men and women in market wages, yet have participation below the national average of 50 per cent. This trend requires further investigation. The possible reasons could be, limited demand of work such that men avail of the employment, or non-availability of work suitable for women, or it could be due to cultural reasons such as non-acceptance of women in the labour force, etc.
Control rights of women in earning
The women workers are becoming economically empowered due to MGNREGS. They get the wages through the system of bank account payments or through post office, which gives them the control right on their earning. Women now earn equally so they have also started taking interest as to how their earning is to be utilized.
Financial inclusion
Financial inclusion is the process of facilitating the access of those segments of the population which are denied these facilities to become a part of the formal financial system, either as individual or as groups (Karmakar, 2011). Under the scheme it is now mandatory to make payment of wages through bank or post office. Their access to bank or post office has led to another form of inclusion which is so called financial inclusion.
While financial inclusion may be the first step to empowering economic independence of women, the follow through stages are as essential. Among these are enhancing financial literacy of women and encouraging them to make independent financial decisions. One of the initiatives being taken under NREGA is to make women open individual bank or post office accounts, rather than co-owning it with their spouses/parents as it is important that women own and operate their accounts than just being enrolled into one.
No frills bank account was opened for the payment of MGNREGS wages. This increased transparency in payments and also encouraged the habit of thrift and savings. This has had the greatest impact on women workers for whom financial independence was a dream. The in-depth analysis based on secondary data shows that 100 per cent of workers had bank accounts from among the registered workers and about 100 percent of wage payment is through accounts (bank/ post office). Separate accounts are also being opened in the name of women workers, "To visit a Bank was beyond our expectations. MGNREGS has not only led us to a bank, but now we are also to save something out of our wages and we have come to visit a Bank. We are very much grateful to MGNREGS scheme which has totally changed our life style...”
NREGA perhaps can also be credited to be the scheme that led to the opening of maximum numbers of rural bank accounts in India and an accelerator of financial inclusion. The NSSO survey in 2014 showed that the MGNREGA mandate to route wage payments as direct benefit transfers to the beneficiary's bank accounts lent a direct push to opening of bank and post office savings accounts. As in 2013, 8.6cr bank and PO accounts had been opened via MGNREGA. This number increased to 9.3crore as in 2014. 80 per cent payments are made through these means (MHRD-Report to the people, 2014).
Bargaining power
The bargaining power of women workers have improved due to MGNREGS. The average wage rate in the agriculture sector also went up toward minimum wages. Previously, women worked were poorly paid. Now with MGNREGS, the general wages for women has increased to Rs 120/- in all types of work. The total household income has also increased as now women are able to work in MGNREGS Scheme during lean agricultural season and undertake agriculture activity during agricultural period.
Low level of dependency and self sufficiency
The most significant gainers of the scheme were women, as they have got the opportunity to break the social shackles of male dependency and be self-sufficient. There was once a time when women were not allowed to step out of the house and women were not independent. Men had the responsibility of taking care of all the needs of women. Women were completely dependent on men. But now the times have changed and women are working in MGNREGA, they are getting good rewards for their labour and now the participation of women has increased more than men.
Social empowerment of women
Social empowerment of women cannot be quantitatively measured but the impact of it can be qualitatively felt. The important qualitative changes are in the form of changed attitude to work, social acceptability, happiness and contentment. Social empowerment of women due to MGNREGS is reviewed from following angles.
Social interaction
Women participation in social audit
Participation in decision making
Dignity of labour
Worksite management
Impact on education & health sectors
Social Interaction
MGNREGS has brought social interaction between different social groups and has also brought interaction between men and women. They now work shoulder to shoulder to earn their dignified living. The social dogmas which restricted the genders to work together have gone out. The caste divide has also ended, which is a great advantage of MGNREGS.
Women participation in social audit
Women participation in social audit is being encouraged by the government but it has not gained much ground. Formation of social audit team is lacking and so is the women participation in social audit.
Participation in decision making
The women workers are being encouraged to participate in decision taking. They have started participating in the process. In the panel, 4 to 5 women workers are now being kept to take decision regarding the project planning. In the shelf of work, mate selection is also being encouraged from among the women. About 50 per cent of the works are managed by the women as per Govt. feedback. The formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and participation of women at the Panchayat level as elected members has given them strength to highlight the issues which are prime for social wellbeing.
Dignity of labour
Through implementation of the scheme in the right earnest, the status of the workers improved and dignity of labour was ensured. For the first time the worker could demand work and get his dues in a time bound and transparent manner. This has transformed the relationship between the work provider and the worker from that of a master servant relationship to one of an employer and an employee. Ensuring dignity of labour has probably been one of the most important outcomes of MGNREGS.
Worksite management
Ensuring the rights of the worker being the focus of this programme, worksite management becomes an essential component. It was emphasized from the beginning that worksite management is not an ancillary item, but as important as correct measurement of work and accurate payments. It was seen as key to ensuring labour retention and especially crucial to inclusion and participation of women labourers. It is mandatory for every worksite in the district to have provision for rest-shed, safe drinking water, first aid and other facilities. This has mainly had an impact on women and marginalized job seekers in two ways. Firstly, better worksite facilities increase their participation and retain them in the workforce. Secondly, pregnant women, differently-abled persons and aged jobseekers who may not necessarily get a good return on a piece rate basis are engaged in such works providing water, maintenance of crèche etc. and hence are able to get a daily minimum wages while retaining dignity of labour. The most surprising thing is that where these work site facilities are lacking, duo to this, pregnant women, women with young children and elderly women are unable to take employment even if they want.
Impact on education
It is a well-known fact that increasing incomes of the poor lead to better retention rates in schools and a greater chance of continued education for children. The observation in Chhattisgarh shown a positive impact on education. The data from the field shows that there has been a substantial reduction in drop-out rates in primary schools in the district.
The MGNREGS has ensured employment to the poor in rural India. The "Stop Dams”, "Link Roads" and "Forestry" have generated employment, which has increased the income of the family. Further, the time that women spend on the chores of water collection, fuel collection, folder collection has been reduced. The girl child was kept at home from school to help in domestic chores, but is now encouraged to attend school.
Impact on health
The health of the women was strongly affected by carrying water for long distance, up steep terrains etc. they suffered from depression, backache, headache, spinal injuries, obstructed birth, leading to high mother and infant mortality. Further, the level of self-hygiene is very low and hence they were exposed to communicable diseases. A clean water tank built through the MGNREGS scheme has reduced these risks and helped in the improvement of health.
Social parity
Women's access to economic resources in terms of income and property ownership was unequal. There was a gender gap in the earnings and often was a cause of social disparity. MGNREGS, by ensuring equal wage has helped to achieve social parity in terms of Income and status.
Social climate
Gender inequality was a major factor contributing to violence against women, disaster situations etc. the women and girls were often not equipped to handle adverse situations due to less female mobility and illiteracy. The women and girls are victims of sexual harassment and domestic violence, particularly when they are left alone at home. The MGNREGS has reduced these incidents as most of the women go out for work and the girls are encouraged to go to school.
Self Esteem and confidence
The MGNREGS was implemented to give livelihood to the poor families. The survey reveals that in some schemes the enrolment of the women is higher. The woman earns the wages for 100 days in a dignified manner without being harassed by contractors etc. There is a definite rise in the confidence and self-esteem of the women. They are vocal and also conscious of their rights. (Job cards, wage rate, days of work etc.) The place of the women in the house and society has changed and in some cases the women is "Pradhan", and safeguards the interest of the other women. This has brought out the quality of leadership amongst the women especially those from the backward sections. The inclusion of "Women" as the "Mate" and "Rojgar Sahayak" has also given confidence to the women. A physically disabled or differently abled woman had no place in the society. The MGNREGS has ensured employment to them in the softer areas, thus ensuring some employment to the women.
Enhancement of knowledge
The MGNREGS generates employment in identified sectors. The main indented schemes are related to land works, forestry programmes, fisheries, agriculture, floriculture, horticulture, irrigation etc. when a woman is employed in these schemes she gains knowledge, about the various things and soon exercises her opinion in decision taking regarding choice of plans.
Cultural climate
Women are the custodians of the cultural wealth. The MGNREGS has gone a long way in saving the "Cultural Climate" from degrading. The employment of women has generated small groups and network of women from different segments of the society. Interaction at the worksite, journey to and from, visit to the bank / post office, etc. has been very beneficial to the women at large. They enjoy and celebrate small events and also transfer the folk arts and culture to each other.
Enhancement of choices and capability
MGNREGA has widened the choice set for women by giving them independent income-earning opportunity. If a woman depends on the head of the household then her choice become the subject of household direction MGNREGA has enhanced the choice of women to use earnings.
Indirect benefits
MGNREGS has helped in development of water bodies, check dams, link roads etc. which has proved to be a boon for women and to the village community at large. The time saved in bringing water, traversing on un-even roads, to get things of personal needs was a distant dream, which MGNREGS has made a reality. The women are now able to get their personal need fulfilled as vendor visit their village. The general disposition of women and children reflect good health and give a satisfied appearance.
Women empowerment index: methodology
Women’s empowerment is multidimensional and it is very difficult to measure. It comprises the entire complexities of interactions, roles, rights and status that surround being male versus being female in a given society or culture. However, in this study I have tried to measure women‘s empowerment through MGNREGS by using women empowerment index. Here we construct the composite index of women empowerment where several indicators have been used to assess the extent of women empowerment. The most commonly used indicators are socio-economic and political empowerment comprising its various indicators. The study has used some proxies to measure different attributes of women empowerment because subjective attributes are difficult to measure. The used proxies to measure women empowerment are:
Economic Empowerment Index (EEI)
Social Empowerment Index (SEI)
Political Empowerment Index (PEI)
Indicators of economic empowerment index
Economic independence is very much necessary for the empowerment of women and traditionally, rural women have been to a great extent, economically dependent on men. There has been a misrepresentation in rural society that a women’s economic role in the family and society is marginal and, therefore, merely supplementary. Contrary to it, the reality of the economics of rural family suggests that women’s contribution in the fulfilment of the basic needs of the family is no less than men. Women work harder and for long hours, engaged in more tedious jobs within and outside the family. Her activities of fuel collection, storing the produce and taking care of domestic animals do not receive economic consideration. Employment is most important requirement in the empowerment of rural women which makes them economically independent. The Seventh Plan (1985-90) emphasized women’s role in employment and the need to strengthen it was accepted. Economically empowered women have full control over economic resources or free to spend her own income. The economic empowerment of women from MGNREGS is assessed based on the following indicators.
Employment opportunity increased
Increase in income & expenditure
Improvement in living standard and satisfaction
Freedom to spend her own income
Market wage rate increased
Increase in savings and investment activities
Increase in the local wage rate of wage earners
Checking distress migration from village
Repayment of family debt/ lowering indebtedness
More financial inclusion (banking inclusion)
The economic empowerment index was constructed by use of five point scale as 1 shows strong disagreement with given statement and 5 shows strong agreement with statement. By summing up the scores obtained for each indicator listed above, economic empowerment index has been calculated using the following formula.
EEI= (Score Obtained)/(Total Possible Score)
Indicators of social empowerment index
Social empowerment will start from the family. In rural families the men and older women discourage young generation of women from the efforts of empowerment by curtailing their movement in the outside world for education, vocational training, employment and political participation. In the joint families elderly women enforce the traditional ethos of discrimination and subordination of women. In rural families women’s submissiveness is valued. Women’s subordination is justified for the welfare of the family and it is contended that too much freedom to women would result in the family to suffer. Social empowerment of women in the family will require adult education among rural women for transforming their attitude towards progressive thinking. Self-image plays an important role in the social empowerment of women. This includes faith and confidence of women in their capabilities and potentials. It is important to note that rural women have a very poor and pathetic self-image. This image is the result of women’s socialization in a traditional ethos of inequality of sexes which project women inferior to men in almost all the spheres of life. This self-image hampers her confidence in taking decisions independently. Lack of education, ignorance and position of dependence of women plays a great role in it. The social empowerment of women from MGNREGS is assessed based on the following indicators.
Literacy/improvement in enrolment ratio
Medicine/improved health care
Improvement of self-esteem and confidence
Improvement in social status
Increased social interaction
Improved dignity of labour
Increased social parity
Improved control rights of women in earning
Increased participation in social audit
Increased role in household decision making
Enhancement of knowledge
Enhancement of choices and capability
The social empowerment index was constructed by using same five point scale as mentioned above. By summing up the scores obtained for each indicator listed above, social empowerment index has been calculated using the above formula.
Indicators of political empowerment index
Without co-operation of rural men, women cannot be empowered. Active participation of women in Panchayats and political sphere, interacting with officials largely depends on the attitude of men and society. The political empowerment of women from MGNREGS is assessed based on the following indicators.
Increased political awareness
Participation in political parties
Participation in elections
Interaction with officials/representative
Participation in meetings of Village Panchayat/Gram Sabha
Participation in political organisation/SHG
Participation in decision making
The political empowerment index was constructed by using same five point scale as mentioned above. By summing up the scores obtained for each indicator listed above, Political Empowerment Index has been calculated using the above formula.
Composite women empowerment index
The latent variable empowerment is measured through an index called Composite Women Empowerment Index (CWEI). Based on above three indices, composite women empowerment index has been constructed by taking average of each index.
CWEI=(EEI+SEI+PEI)/3
Closer the value of index to 1 higher will be empowerment and vice-versa. Like human development index measured as an index ranging between values of 0 which indicates deprived of development and value one which shows the full development (UNDP, HDI, 2005; varghese, 2011; cited by Nombo, Mdoe, 2012). International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) have also developed Women Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) where women empowerment is also measured as an index ranging from 0 to 1.
Economic empowerment index
An economically empowered woman enjoys increasing employment opportunities, income and standard of living with increased wage rate and with some other economically related factors. MGNREGA has provided employment opportunities and its other cascading effects to rural women. Account payment of wages also creates some other effects. Apart from increasing the chances for greater control over earnings, it leads to the development of a saving habit. Initially, most of these workers used to withdraw their entire wages at one go. Gradually, they have started withdrawing as per their needs. This has an added advantage as women are able to save money from wasteful expenditure, if husbands or other male members tend to spend on items like liquor. Women were also found to invest in fixed deposit schemes in the same bank. Greater linkage of women with financial institutions may trigger many individual and community-level social and economic effects (Kabeer 2001b; Mayoux 2001; Pitt et al., 2006; Mayoux and Hartl 2009). The study by Institute of Applied Manpower Research (2008) found that NREGS helps to improve the income level and enhance the standard of living of the rural people particularly the vulnerable section of the society such as women, SC/STs, minorities and so on.
Ratna. M. Sudarshan (2010) study focused that improved women participation in MGNREGA is enhanced from active participation of NGOs and better wage payment of scheme which is above the prevalent market wage. The study by Sudha Narayanan (2008) pointed out that the provision of shade, food and other basic amenities for young children at MGNREGA worksite would ensure effective participation of women particularly mothers who are having young child.
It is prominent to study whether these women after getting employment opportunities and its other provisions and direct and indirect benefits from MGNREGA have become economically empowered or not.
Table 5.1: Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Badgam district
District: Badgam
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of economic empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Employment opportunity increased311591012208202.88
Increase in income & expenditure214381110186622.96
Improvement in living standard and satisfaction81612108783432.4
Freedom to spend her own income53156122518323.39
Market wage rate increased232510125320001.55
Increase in savings and investment activities151911148552101.95
Increase in the local wage rate of wage earners20251287512001.66
Checking distress migration from village182117155400001.63
Repayment of family debt1419121210534101.99
More financial inclusion (banking inclusion)415138741012612.71
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.1 shows the status of women economic empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment and MGNREGS in Badgam district. One of the most important indicators of economic empowerment of women is increased employment opportunities which have the overall average score of 2.88. The results reveal that the highest average score is 3.39 which goes to Freedom to spend her own income in the district of Badgam followed by increased income and expenditure, more financial inclusion by starting banking account and transferring wage to the bank account, improved standard of living and quality of life with lowest average score of 1.55 which goes to increased market wage rate. It show that MGNREGS wage has no effect on the market wage rate because of low wage payment for work under the Scheme. Economic empowerment index (EEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Badgam district. The value of EEI is found to be 0.509 for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.415 for non-beneficiaries indicating some sort of economic empowerment of beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the District of Badgam (Table 5.6).
Table 5.2 shows the status of women economic empowerment by selected indicators in Baramulla District. The results reveals that the highest average score of economic empowerment through MGNREGS is 3.90 which goes to Freedom to spend her own income in the district of Baramulla slightly higher than Badgam followed by more financial inclusion by starting banking account and transferring wage to the bank account, increased income and expenditure, improved standard of living and quality of life, with lowest average score of 1.55 which goes to increased market wage rate. Economic empowerment index (EEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Baramulla district. The value of EEI is found to be 0.524for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.432 for non-beneficiaries indicating economic empowerment of beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the District of Baramulla (Table 5.6). This index is found to be slightly higher than the index of Badgam district showing that MGNREGS has more effect in terms of economic empowerment in Baramulla than the later.
Table 5.2: Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Baramulla district
District: Baramulla
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of economic empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Employment opportunity increased565811102010503.06
Increase in income & expenditure12281072520053.51
Improvement in living standard and satisfaction71212151311100002.19
Freedom to spend her own income0000833531123.90
Market wage rate increased151820175500001.71
Increase in savings and investment activities212815102400001.46
Increase in the local wage rate of wage earners27311054300001.36
Checking distress migration from village233012100500001.40
Repayment of family debt222817120100001.38
More financial inclusion (banking inclusion)020510528131073.82
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.3: Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kulgam district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of economic empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Employment opportunity increased2525682217853.55
Increase in income & expenditure493811111281043.13
Improvement in living standard and satisfaction3847818166913.11
Freedom to spend her own income000005282512104.21
Market wage rate increased1519121813300001.77
Increase in savings and investment activities1118171261060001.98
Increase in the local wage rate of wage earners171915218000001.65
Checking distress migration from village161812189430001.81
Repayment of family debt9151211131460002.18
More financial inclusion (banking inclusion)020381922161003.63
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.3 shows the status of women economic empowerment by selected indicators in Kulgam District. The results reveals that the highest average score of economic empowerment through MGNREGS is 4.21 which goes to Freedom to spend her own income in the district of Kulgam slightly higher than districts of Baramulla and Badgam followed by More financial inclusion by starting banking account and transferring wage to the bank account, Increased income and expenditure, Improved standard of living and quality of life with lowest average score of 1.55 which goes to Increased market wage rate. Economic empowerment index (EEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Kulgam district. The value of EEI is found to be 0.591for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.491 for non-beneficiaries indicating economic empowerment of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the District of Kulgam (Table 5.6). This index is found to be slightly higher than the index of Badgam and Baramulla districts showing that MGNREGS has some more impact in terms of economic empowerment than the later districts.
Table 5.4: Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Srinagar district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of economic empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Employment opportunity increased6415762118573.46
Increase in income & expenditure2845141310101043.23
Improvement in living standard and satisfaction27175171791503.37
Freedom to spend her own income000046222214124.2
Market wage rate increased1117141815500001.9
Increase in savings and investment activities813181171165102.27
Increase in the local wage rate of wage earners191614187600001.72
Checking distress migration from village18171515462211.82
Repayment of family debt5101211111484412.61
More financial inclusion (banking inclusion)123112211515913.5
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.4 shows the status of women economic empowerment by selected indicators of MGNREGS in Srinagar district. The results reveals that the highest average score of economic empowerment through MGNREGS is 4.2 which goes to Freedom to spend her own income in the district of Srinagar slightly higher than districts of Baramulla and Badgam followed by More financial inclusion by starting banking account and transferring wage to the bank account, Increased income and expenditure, Improved standard of living and quality of life with lowest average score of 1.55 which goes to Increased market wage rate. Economic empowerment index (EEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Srinagar district. The value of EEI is found to be 0.596for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.528 for non-beneficiaries indicating economic empowerment of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the district of Srinagar (Table 5.6). Although index is found to be slightly higher than the index of Badgam, Kulgam and Baramulla districts showing that MGNREGS has some more impact in terms of economic empowerment in Srinagar than the later districts, the differences in the value of index is much lesser between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries showing lower impact of MGNREGS in the district than others.
Table 5.5: Status of economic empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kargil district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of economic empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Employment opportunity increased4403642320793.7
Increase in income & expenditure352612109131463.47
Improvement in living standard and satisfaction162841515111803.47
Freedom to spend her own income000037192018134.26
Market wage rate increased151312201370001.9
Increase in savings and investment activities71515961293312.4
Increase in the local wage rate of wage earners252815120000001.33
Checking distress migration from village191916152510211.75
Repayment of family debt41581815790402.41
More financial inclusion (banking inclusion)2312102513101403.47
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.5 shows the status of women economic empowerment by selected indicators of MGNREGS in Kargil district. The results reveals that the highest average score of economic empowerment through MGNREGS is 4.26 which goes to freedom to spend her own income in the district of Kargil slightly higher than the other districts of Kashmir valley followed by Increased employment opportunities, More financial inclusion by starting banking account and transferring wage to the bank account, Increased income and expenditure, Improved standard of living and quality of life with lowest average score of 1.99 which goes to Increased market wage rate. Economic empowerment index (EEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Kargil district. The value of EEI is found to be 0.614for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.514 for non-beneficiaries indicating economic empowerment of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the district of Kargil(Table. 6).The district has highest value of economic empowerment index among the surveyed districts and the differences in the value of index is higher (0.100) between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries showing some sort of economic impact of MGNREGS on women in the district of Kargil than other district.
Table 5.6: Economic empowerment index of women respondents
DistrictsStatusValue of indexDifference
1.BadgamBeneficiaries0.5090.094
Non-beneficiaries0.415
2.BaramullaBeneficiaries0.5240.092
Non-beneficiaries0.432
3.KulgamBeneficiaries0.5910.100
Non-beneficiaries0.491
4.SrinagarBeneficiaries0.5960.068
Non-beneficiaries0.528
5.KargilBeneficiaries0.6140.100
Non-beneficiaries0.514
Kashmir ValleyBeneficiaries0.5670.091
Non-beneficiaries0.476
Source: Calculated
The results of table: 6 show the overall value of economic empowerment index. The value of economic empowerment index was found to be 0.567 for beneficiaries and 0.476 for the non-beneficiaries women of MGNREGS in entire Kashmir valley including Kargil. The whole analysis reveals that value of economic empowerment index was slightly higher for the beneficiaries as compared to non-beneficiaries with difference of 0.091 indicating some economic empowerment of women due to participation under the Scheme.
Social empowerment index (SEI)
A socially empowered woman is free to move in the society, also free from any kind of discrimination and has equal status in the society. It is expected that when women become economically independent and contribute to some extent to household income; she can establish her control over the family decision making process and other family affairs and thus ultimately improve her position in the family and society (Hoque and Itohara, 2009). Vinita Arora et al., (2013) study found that MGNREGA enhances decision making power in social and economic well-being of women. Gowhar Bashir Ahangar (2014) conducted study on women empowerment through MGNREGS in Shahabad Block of district Anantnag and reported that 90 per cent of the surveyed respondent believes that their social status is improved after joining in this programme, especially from widows. They got more self-respect than earlier period. People are able to mingle with others, share their feelings, and increase their confidence and dignity. All this happened only after joining in this programme.
Table 5.7: Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Badgam district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of social empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Literacy/improvement in enrolment ratio778101081012532.90
Medicine/improved health care684161410126402.73
Improvement of self-esteem and confidence23581591417433.28
Improvement in social status069161710128202.84
Increased social interaction164121718134502.96
Improved dignity of labour047181410165333.00
Increased social parity71082022733002.30
Improved control rights of women in earning23581591417433.28
Increased participation in social audit684161410126402.73
Increased role in household decision making13618286531002.00
Enhancement of knowledge202415163020001.54
Enhancement of choices and capability7411181710105533.13
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.7 shows the status of women social empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Badgam District. One of the most important indicators of economic empowerment of women is increased employment and income leads to increase in control right of women over their earning and improvement of self-esteem and confidence with overall average score of 3.28 followed by enhancement of choices and capability (3.13) improved dignity (3.00) with lowest average score of 1.54 which goes to Enhancement of Knowledge. Table also shows that MGNREGS has effect on the enrolment ratio and improved social interaction. Social empowerment index (SEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Badgam district. The value of SEI is found to be0.547for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.458 for non-beneficiaries indicating some sort of social empowerment of beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the district of Badgamal though the difference between value of index is low (Table 5.12).
Table 5.8: Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Baramulla district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of social empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Literacy/improvement in enrolment ratio285121315155502.91
Medicine/improved health care815122111460302.16
Improvement of self-esteem and confidence102215115582202.05
Improvement in social status13618286531002
Increased social interaction10111413101462002.24
Improved dignity of labour81829203200001.74
Increased social parity111817198340001.88
Improved control rights of women in earning202415163020001.54
Increased participation in social audit3234860000001.18
Increased role in household decision making112123174220001.73
Enhancement of knowledge241813203200001.54
Enhancement of choices and capability121024252322001.89
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.8 shows the status of women social empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Baramulla district. The overall performance of Baramulla district in terms of average score of various social indicators is low as compared to Badgam district with improved enrolment ratio at the top followed by improvement in health condition and social interaction with lowest average score of 1.18 which goes to Participation in social audit. The respondents from the district Baramulla reported that they have no information about social audit and also they are not aware about the same. Social empowerment index (SEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Baramulla district. The value of SEI is found to be0.381for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.321 for non-beneficiaries indicating some sort of social empowerment of beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the district which is least among the surveyed districts and the difference between value of index is found to be very low (0.06) indicating that MGNREGS has played no significant role in social empowerment of women in district of Baramulla (Table 5.12).
Table 5.9: Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kulgam district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of social empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Literacy/improvement in enrolment ratio3124181010140902.65
Medicine/improved health care618101814252502.26
Improvement of self-esteem and confidence1325121223100301.95
Improvement in social status121219248410001.88
Increased social interaction5151288787732.69
Improved dignity of labour61519178265112.21
Increased social parity81213159576322.44
Improved control rights of women in earning81912158680402.19
Increased participation in social audit183010611410001.61
Increased role in household decision making81015259351312.23
Enhancement of knowledge171712216250001.80
Enhancement of choices and capability131024243303001.86
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.9 shows the status of women social empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Kulgam district. The overall performance of Kulgam district in terms of average score of various social indicators is also found to be bad, but some improvement over Baramulla district. The indicator Social interaction has highest score of 2.69 followed by improved enrolment ratio and social parity, improvement in health condition and with lowest average score of 1.61 which goes to participation of social audit and enhancement of knowledge. Social empowerment index (SEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Baramulla district. The value of SEI is found to be0.455 for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.340 for non-beneficiaries indicating empowerment of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS socially than non-beneficiaries in the district which is medium among the surveyed districts and the difference between value of index is found to be high (0.115) indicating that MGNREGS has played significant role in social empowerment of women in district of Kulgam as compared to district Baramulla (Table 5.12).
Table 5.10: Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Srinagar district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of social empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Literacy/improvement in enrolment ratio283159121631023.06
Medicine/improved health care210121613874622.69
Improvement of self-esteem and confidence1221141312112222.1
Improvement in social status1013171210836012.2
Increased social interaction41613965117632.68
Improved dignity of labour51420188276002.21
Increased social parity81213159576322.44
Improved control rights of women in earning72014127860602.23
Increased participation in social audit1526101214210001.71
Increased role in household decision making57162210464332.5
Enhancement of knowledge151314195661012
Enhancement of choices and capability101212188345622.39
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.10 shows the status of women social empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Srinagar district. The overall performance of Srinagar district in terms of average score of various social indicators is also found average. The indicator improved enrolment ratio having highest score of 3.06 followed by social interaction and social parity, Improvement in health care system and with lowest average score of 1.71 which goes to participation of social audit and enhancement of knowledge. Social empowerment index (SEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Srinagar district. The value of SEI is found to be0.485for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.383 for non-beneficiaries indicating empowerment of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS socially than non-beneficiaries in the district which is average among the surveyed districts and the difference between value of index is found to be high (0.102) indicating that MGNREGS has played significant role in social empowerment of women in district Srinagar as compared to district Baramulla (Table 5.12).
Table 5.11: Status of social empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kargil district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of social empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Literacy/ improvement in enrolment ratio241165141841423.31
Medicine/improved health care29715127106932.95
Improvement of self-esteem and confidence61281083159362.85
Improvement in social status155101510891163.30
Increased social interaction25468715911133.60
Improved dignity of labour61215179497102.38
Increased social parity591113115109342.76
Improved control rights of women in earning419111058921112.60
Increased participation in social audit142491112332201.91
Increased role in household decision making6512205795832.78
Enhancement of knowledge101312157684322.36
Enhancement of choices and capability71012129946832.68
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.11 shows the status of women social empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Kargil district. The overall performance of Kargil district in terms of average score of various social indicators is also found high as compared to other districts. The indicator increased social interaction has highest score of 3.60 followed by Improved social status, improvement in enrolment ratio, improvement in health care system and with lowest average score of 1.91goes to participation in social audit. Social empowerment index (SEI) was constructed on the basis of various economic indicators for beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Kargil district. The value of SEI is found to be0.573for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.457 for non-beneficiaries indicating empowerment of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS socially than non-beneficiaries in the district which is highest among the surveyed districts and the difference between value of index is also found to be highest (0.112) indicating that MGNREGS has played significant role in social empowerment of women in district Kargil as compared to other districts (Table 5.12).
Table 5.12: Social empowerment index of women respondents
DistrictsStatusValue of indexDifference
1.BadgamBeneficiaries0.5470.089
Non-beneficiaries0.458
2.BaramullaBeneficiaries0.3810.060
Non-beneficiaries0.321.
3.KulgamBeneficiaries0.4550.115
Non-beneficiaries0.340
4.SrinagarBeneficiaries0.4850.102
Non-beneficiaries0.383
5.KargilBeneficiaries0.5730.116
Non-beneficiaries0.457
Kashmir ValleyBeneficiaries0.4880.096
Non-beneficiaries0.392
The results of table 5.12 show the overall value of economic empowerment index. The value of economic empowerment index was found to be 0.488 for beneficiaries and 0.392 for the non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS in entire Kashmir valley including Kargil with difference among beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries equal to 0.096. The whole analysis reveals that value of economic empowerment index was slightly higher for the beneficiaries as compared to non-beneficiaries indicating some social empowerment of women due to participation under the Scheme.
Political empowerment index
Women are said to be politically empowered if they have political awareness, determined about their decisions relating to their politics, involvement in political parties and election, participation in panchayat meeting and Grama sabha. With passive Panchayati raj system and less involvement of people in election and other related activities, it is expected that political empowerment of women in Kashmir would be low.
Table 5.13: Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Badgam district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of political empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Increased political awareness23121114121213012.93
Participation in political parties1114141310954002.15
Participation in elections9121710121523002.20
Interaction with officials/ representative47581915910302.88
Participation in meetings of village panchayat/ gram sabha1822101210521001.76
Participation in political organisation/ SHG1119121112857002.30
Participation in decision making414181617515002.20
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.13 shows the status of women political empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Badgam District. Increased political awareness gets overall average score of 2.93 followed by interaction with officials/representative (2.88) participation in political organisation/SHG (2.30) with lowest average score of 1.76 goes to participation in meetings of village panchayat/ gram sabha. Political empowerment index (PEI) was constructed on the basis of various political indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Badgam district. The value of PEI is found to be0.483for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.455 for non-beneficiaries indicating some sort of political empowerment of beneficiaries of MGNREGS than non-beneficiaries in the district of Badgam although the difference between value of index is much low (0.028) indicating that MGNREGS has not played significant role in social empowerment of women in district Badgam as compared to other districts (Table 5.18).
Table 5.14: Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Baramulla district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of Political EmpowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Increased political awareness112123174220001.73
Participation in political parties1510181451026002.08
Participation in elections221815152512001.66
Interaction with officials/ representative1514121451062102.04
Participation in meetings of village panchayat/ gram sabha222410114540001.64
Participation in political organisation/ SHG14121015101043102.11
Participation in decision making1310131791152002.14
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.14 shows the status of women political empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Baramulla district. Participation in decision making gets overall average score of 2.14 followed by participation in political organisation/SHG (2.11), interaction with officials/representative (2.04) with lowest average score of 1.76 goes to Participation in meetings of village panchayat/gram sabha and participation in elections. Political empowerment index (PEI) was constructed on the basis of various political indicators for beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Baramulla district. The value of PEI is found to be0.384for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.382 for non-beneficiaries. The district has one of the lowest index value of political empowerment among the surveyed districts with difference between value of index much low (0.02) indicating that MGNREGS has not played any significant role in social empowerment of women in district Baramulla as compared to other districts (Table 5.18).
Table 5.15 shows the status of women political empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Kulgam district. Participation in political organisation/ SHG gets overall average score of 2.63 followed by participation in decision making (2.38), interaction with officials/ representative (2.36) with lowest average score of 1.78goes to participation in meetings of village panchayat/ gram sabha and participation in political parties. Political empowerment index (PEI) was constructed on the basis of various political indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Kulgam district. The value of PEI is found to be0.462for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.402 for non-beneficiaries. The district has better value of political empowerment in compared to Baramulla, but difference between value of index is much low (0.06) indicating that MGNREGS has not played any significant role in social empowerment of women in district Kulgam Similar to that of Baramulla district (Table 5.18).
Table 5.15: Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kulgam district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of political empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Increased political awareness71916139662202.14
Participation in political parties181515213341001.79
Participation in elections171214164636202.06
Interaction with officials/representative131210164676602.36
Participation in meetings of village panchayat/gram sabha18288115150401.78
Participation in political organisation/SHG12851281585702.63
Participation in decision making117141291566002.38
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.16: Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Srinagar district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of political empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Increased political awareness51412128595642.65
Participation in political parties171812136851001.89
Participation in elections1311101178910102.40
Interaction with officials/ representative111212146836802.41
Participation in meetings of village panchayat/gram sabha1625597462602.05
Participation in political organisation/SHG18118159628302.19
Participation in decision making8712961288642.81
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.16 shows the status of women political empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Srinagar district. Participation in decision making gets overall average score of 2.81 followed by increased political awareness (2.65), interaction with officials/ representative (2.41) with lowest average score of 1.89goes to participation in meetings of village panchayat/ gram sabha and participation in political parties. Political empowerment index (PEI) was constructed on the basis of various political indicators for beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Kulgam district. The value of PEI is found to be0.496for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.441 for non-beneficiaries with difference between value of index much low (0.055) indicating that MGNREGS has played some role in social empowerment of women in district of Kulgam (Table 5.18).
Table 5.17: Status of political empowerment of women by selected indicators-Kargil district
SDDNASAAv.
Score
Indicators of political empowermentBNBNBNBNBN
Increased political awareness210876121371143.14
Participation in political parties81291181592602.54
Participation in elections91281299107402.54
Interaction with officials/representative101312155686502.39
Participation in meetings of village panchayat/gram sabha1522685673712.23
Participation in political organisation/SHG511613109117802.79
Participation in decision making91394511108742.79
SD: Strongly Disagree, D: Disagree, N: Neutral, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree, B: Beneficiary, N: Non-Beneficiary
Table 5.17 shows the status of women political empowerment by selected indicators of empowerment through MGNREGS in Kargil district. Increased political awareness gets overall average score of 3.14 followed by Participation in decision making (2.79), participation in political organisation/ SHG (2.79) Participation in elections (2.54), participation in political parties (2.54) with lowest average score of 2.23 goes to participation in meetings of village panchayat/gram sabha and. Political empowerment index (PEI) was constructed on the basis of various political indicators for beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS separately for the Kargil district. The value of PEI is found to be 0.593 for beneficiaries of the Scheme and is 0.459 for non-beneficiaries which highest index value among the surveyed district with difference between value of index highest (0.134) indicating that MGNREGS has played significant role in social empowerment of women in district Kargil (Table 5.18).
Table 5.18: Political empowerment index of women respondents
S. No.DistrictsStatusValue of IndexDifference
1.BadgamBeneficiaries0.4830.028
Non-beneficiaries0.455
2.BaramullaBeneficiaries0.3840.002
Non-beneficiaries0.382
3.KulgamBeneficiaries0.4620.06
Non-beneficiaries0.402
4.SrinagarBeneficiaries0.4960.055
Non-beneficiaries0.441
5.KargilBeneficiaries0.5930.134
Non-beneficiaries0.459
Kashmir ValleyBeneficiaries0.48360.0558
Non-beneficiaries0.4278
Composite women empowerment index
A look at composite women empowerment index shows that overall empowerment status of women is not found to be very satisfactory. But still the empowerment level of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS was slightly higher than non-beneficiaries. The results of table show that value of composite women empowerment index is highest for Kargil district (0.593) in case of beneficiaries and 0.477 in case of non-beneficiaries followed by Srinagar district, where value of CEI was 0.526 and 0.451 in case of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries respectively. The lowest composite women empowerment index is found to be in case of Baramulla district with value of 0.430 in case of beneficiaries and 0.271 in case of non-beneficiaries showing wide gap between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. The results reveal that, although the composite women empowerments index value is less in Baramulla district, the difference between value of index in case of beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries is higher in district. Therefore impact of empowerment is more visible in Baramulla district.
Table 5.19: Composite women empowerment index
S. NoDistrictsStatusValue of indexDifference
1.BadgamBeneficiaries0.5130.07
Non-beneficiaries0.443
2.BaramullaBeneficiaries0.4300.159
Non-beneficiaries0.271
3.KulgamBeneficiaries0.5030.092
Non-beneficiaries0.411
4.SrinagarBeneficiaries0.5260.075
Non-beneficiaries0.451
5.KargilBeneficiaries0.5930.116
Non-beneficiaries0.477
Kashmir ValleyBeneficiaries0.5130.081
Non-beneficiaries0.432
The overall composite women empowerment index was highest in Kargil district which is found to be 0.513 in case of beneficiaries of MGNREGS and 0.432 for non-beneficiaries with high difference of 0.116 and Baramulla district has lowest composite index value of 0.430 for beneficiaries and 0.271 for non-beneficiaries with highest difference of 0.159 showing significant impact of the Scheme in the district. The overall composite women empowerment index of Kashmir valley including Kargil district is found to be 0.513 in case of beneficiaries of MGNREGS and 0.432 for non-beneficiaries with high difference of 0.081. Although value of each empowerment index based on selected socio-economic and political indicators is found to be slightly higher in case of beneficiaries than that of non-beneficiaries yet difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of MGNREGS in terms of overall empowerment was not found to be significant. The reason may be that no doubt MGNREGA has provided employment opportunities to women but empowerment is more social than economic phenomena. There are some practical problems of MGNREGA which need to be solved by government to make it more effective.
References
NSSO, 66th Round National Survey, July 2009-June 2010, Employment and Unemployment, 2009-10.
R.M. Sudarshan, (2009), ‘Examining India’s National Regional Employment Guarantee Act: Its Impact and Women’s Participation’, Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), New Delhi.
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Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, (2014). MNREGA 2014-Report to the People (pp. 1-39). New Delhi: Government of India. Retrieved fromhttp://nrega.nic.in/netnrega/writereaddata/circulars/report_people_eng_jan_2014.pdf
S. Verma, (2011) MGNREGA Assets and Rural Water Security: Synthesis of Field Studies in Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala and Rajasthan, Anand, International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
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Rahman, Z. (2007), “Empowerment of Rural Indian Women- Study of Uttarakhand”, Kalpaz Publication, Delhi.
Tarafdar, Puspa (2008),“Policies and Programmes for Women’s Empowerment in the South Asian Context”, In Sinha, A.K (Ed.), New Dimensions of Women Empowerment, deep and deep publication (pp.25), New Delhi
Kabeer, Naila (2001a), “Reflections on the Measurement of Women’s Empowerment” in Discussing Women’s Empowerment-Theory and Practice, Sida Studies 3, Stockholm.
(2001b), “Conflict Over Credit: Re-evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh”, World Development, 29 (1): 63-84.
Mayoux, Linda and Maria Hartl (2009), “Gender and Rural Microfinance: Reaching and Empowering Women”, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome
Gowhar Bashir Ahangar (2014), “Women Empowerment through MGNREGA: A case Study of Block Shahabad of district Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir”, Abhinav, Volume No: III, PP: 55-62, February.
Akhtar, S.M. Jawed, Azeez, N.P. Abdul & Alam, MdMasroor (2012), “Rural Women Empowerment through MGNREGS in the State of Kerala”, published in A. K. Thakur & S.M. Jawed Akhtar (eds.), Non-Farm Sector and Rural Transformation, Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
Chapter - 6
Evaluation of MGNREGS in Kashmir Valley
(Primary Data Analysis)
Chapter - 6
Evaluation of MGNREGS in Kashmir Valley (Primary Data Analysis)
Profile of women MGNREGS workers
Towards developing a comprehensive understanding of the issues pertaining to participation of women in MGNREGS, the socio-economic and demographic profiles of the respondents has been prepared. Socio-economic characteristics of the workers are examined in terms of caste, marital status, education and occupation of the workers.
The dominant age group is 36-45 years followed by 46-60 years. The former consisted of 37.75 per cent and the latter 36.0 per cent of the women workers. General category women workers account for more than one half (59.25 per cent) of the total women workers and the other three major caste groups ST (23.00 percent), OBC (10.50 per cent) and SC (7.25 per cent) constitute nearly 41.75 per cent of the sample. Though MGNREGS is associated with unskilled labour, education plays a significant role in awareness and participation in the programme. Education is expected to have a positive impact on the participation of women and details are presented in Table. 43.50 percent of the respondents are non-literates and 50 per cent completed their primary education (lower and upper). Only 3.5 per cent of the respondents have completed their high school and only 3.00 per cent of the workers completed higher secondary education and above.
Majority of the sample workers are married women (95.5 per cent). The proportion of single/unmarried women is 4.5 per cent and no widows, divorcee and the deserted women were interviewed. Regarding the size of household 73.93 per cent are reported below five and remaining 26.07 per cent lie between 5-10. Landholding status is an important variable to ascertain the economic condition of the respondents. It is evident that only 1.5 per cent of the respondents were landless and another 51.75 per cent of the respondents owned less than one Kanal of land (sub-marginal farmers) and 46.75 per cent owned more than one Kanal of land. Income of respondents is another critical variable which can influence participation. Annual income of the sample households is computed showing MGNREGS income separately to ascertain the contribution of the programme to the total household income. 49.50 per cent respondents having income less than Rs. 5000 accounts BPL and remaining 50.50 having income more than Rs. 5000 and accounts APL. If we look at the religious wise respondents details, Muslim women account 91.50 per cent followed by Hindus 7.50 and 1 percent Sikh.
Table 6.1: Distribution of demographic traits of respondents
VariablesRespondentsPercentage
Religion
Muslim36691.50
Hindu3007.50
Sikhs41.00
Category/community
SC2907.25
ST9223.00
OBC4210.50
General23759.25
Age group
18- 25215.25
26- 358421.00
36- 4515137.75
46- 6014436.00
Above 6000
Educational qualification
Illiterate17443.50
Lower Primary13032.50
Upper Primary7017.50
High School1403.50
Higher Secondary1002.50
Graduate200.50
Marital status
Married38295.50
Unmarried1804.50
Widowed/ Divorced000.00
Monthly income
Below 500019849.50
Above 500020250.50
APL/BPL
APL19850.50
BPL20249.50
Family size
Less than 529673.93
5- 1010426.07
Above 10000.00
Land possession
No land61.50
0-120751.75
More than One Canal18746.75
Survey analysis
Survey instruments include structured schedules for MGNREGS women workers, Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) and interviews with officials, elected representatives and other stakeholders. Information was collected on the socio-economic profiles, institutional affiliation, participation in women development programmes and also their participation with regard to MGNREGA like selection of works, awareness about provisions, registration, employment wage payment, financial aspects and migration etc. and benefits derived out of participation with a view to ascertaining the qualitative changes that have taken place in women’s life.
The collection of primary data from five districts of Jammu and Kashmir namely Kulgam, Srinagar, Badgam and Baramulla and Kargil. Although the study is concentrating on the area of Kashmir Valley where women participation is very low as compared to other region, for the purpose of comparative analysis and identifying factors which determines the participation of women, I also included one highest women participating district from the state namely Kargil from Ladakh division. Further, two blocks and four Gram Panchayats from each district, with same criteria were selected. About twenty women workers purposefully were selected for the sample from each Grama Panchayat. 20 Panchayats from 10 blocks from 5 districts were selected and 200 MGNREGS participating women workers and 200 non-participating women with total of 400 women surveyed and studied. For the evaluation of performance of MGNREGS in terms of aforementioned aspects we took only 200 participating women under the Scheme. The sample framework is already given in Table 1.2. Survey analysis has been focus on the basis of following dimensions.
Awareness generation
Registration and job cards
Employment
Wage payment
Bank related information in MGNREGS
Migration
Awareness generation
Awareness of MGNREGS is an important pre-requisite for active and effective implementation and success of MGNREGS; since in theory it envisages the ‘demand’ for work by the workers. Only in the case of information symmetry on the part of the workers they can assert their rights to entitlements under the scheme. There has been wide variation across the districts of Kashmir valley in workers’ awareness about the provisions of basic entitlements under MGNREGA. The survey has also probed into various effective mediums of dissemination of information about MGNREGS. The analysis on the sources through which the household becomes aware of the scheme indicates that the friend/relatives/neighbour play key role in creating awareness about MGNREGS. Panchayat representatives and media like newspapers, radio, and television have also played a significant role in generating awareness about the scheme. But NGOs and SHGs have played less significant role which can be perceived from the table 6.2 where friend/relatives/neighbour/Khidmat centre group played a significant role in creating awareness about MGNREGS in the districts like Baramulla and Badgam. But in district like Kargil Self-help groups played more role than Panchayat representative and media.
Table 6.2: Awareness about MGNREGS: Sources
SourceBadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Newspapers/Radio/ Television2 (5.0)4 (10.0)3 (7.5)6 (15.0)5 (12.5)20 (10.0)
NGO Representative0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)2 (5.0)2 (1.0)
Panchayat representatives25 (62.5)8 (20.0)15 (37.5)10 (25.0)8 (20.0)64 (32.0)
SHG3 (7.5)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)20 (50)23 (11.5)
Friends/Relatives/
Neighbors10 (25.0)28 (70.0)22 (55.0)24 (60.0)5 (12.5)89 (44.5)
Any other specifies0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage
For reasons of working under MGNREGS in general, we have considered reasons like work easily available, better wage rate, recognition of people’s needs etc. Most of the surveyed people responded that easy availability of work is the main reason for working under MGNREGS followed by the other reason especially due to poverty women are forced to do work under the Scheme even though they may be unwilling to do work in public places.
Table 6.3: Reasons for working under MGNREGS
ReasonsBadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Work Easily Available18 (45.0)27 (67.5)25 (62.5)29 (72.5)22 (55.0)121 (60.5)
Better Wage3 (7.5)0 (0)5 (12.5)0 (0)5 (12.5)13 (6.5)
Recognizes the people's need0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Any other19 (47.5)13 (32.5)10 (25.0)11 (27.5)13 (32.5)66 (33.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The uniqueness of the MGNREGS lies in its rights-based employment. It thus necessitates sufficient awareness amongst the intended beneficiaries regarding various provisions like 100 days guaranteed employment per household, minimum wages, unemployment allowance, procedures of payment, equal wage for men and women, work within a radius of 5 km, any compensation to move to the workplace, role of Grama Sabha, medical assistance for injury at the worksite, worksite facilities, social audit etc. The level of awareness was found to be very low among the rural women of all districts (Table 6.4). All the respondents from Badgam, Baramulla, Kulgam, Srinagar and Kargil districts have 100 per cent awareness only about the basic provisions like 100 days guaranteed employment per household, equal wage for men and women, mode of payment etc. The level of awareness is also very low in the valley including non- beneficiaries of the scheme which is mainly because of its low female literacy rate and educational status, inadequate advertisement, unwillingness of women to participate under any governmental scheme, less active approach of grass root institutions like Panchayat and SHG and its representatives.
Table 6.4: Awareness about various provisions of MGNREGS
Districts
ProvisionsNumber of respondents (Percent)
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
100 days of employment per household40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Minimum wage10 (25)40 (100)21 (52.5)11 (27.5)22 (55.0)104 (52.0)
Unemployment allowance7 (17.5)14 (35)0 (0)3 (7.5)8 (20.0)32 (16.0)
Procedures of payment40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Equal wage for men and women40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Work within a radius of 5km22 (55.0)21 (52.5)7 (17.5)11 (27.5)14 (35)75 (37.5)
Any compensation to move to the workplace0 (0)3 (7.5)5 (12.5)4 (10)28 (70)40 (20.0)
Role of Grama Sabha6 (15.0)5 (12.5)10 (25)6 (15.0)14 (35)41 (20.5)
Medical assistance for injury at the worksite11 (27.5)28 (70)15 (37.5)21 (52.5)23 (57.5)98 (49.0)
Worksite facilities8 (20.0)25 (62.5)21 (52.5)4 (10)21 (52.5)79 (39.5)
Social audit5 (12.5)4 (10)3 (7.5)11 (27.5)10 (25)33 (16.5)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
It is also found through focus group discussion with panchayat representatives (Panch and Sarpanch), officials, contractors and other stakeholders that process of awareness and implementation of programme, registration and other procedures are very slow which is mainly because of people’s reluctance to participate in such unskilled manual jobs although it is guaranteed and anxiety about implementation procedure that is it possible to work, what kind of jobs they will provide, is it possible to control their educational, socio-economic and religious status. Does the religion status permit to go for such jobs, Attitudes of workers in response to governmental policies and programmes, inadequate NGO’s and SHG’s involved in creating awareness about scheme etc. also effect participation.
Above table shows that most of the respondents are unaware about the various provisions emphasised by scheme in Kashmir valley. The states like Kerala, Rajasthan adopted various ways in order to create awareness regarding the provisions under the scheme such as efforts taken by Panchayat representatives with the help of SHG members; constitution of a special team consisting of school teachers, anganwadi workers and ST promoters; convening the ward level meetings and persuading the households to register; door-to-door canvassing by the SHGs, ADS and CDS; convenes special meetings in SC/ST colonies etc. No such efforts are not found in Kashmir valley for creating awareness among people especially women. Unless or until people are not aware about its provisions, the success of the scheme a will be a dream.
Registration & job cards
Under MGNREGA all rural households in the district may apply for registration for unskilled manual work through an application for registration to the concerned authority. To seek and get employment under the scheme, every household should get registered with the Panchayat. The rural households may not register themselves spontaneously. The implementing agencies need to motivate the people to get registered. The persons responsible for issuing job cards are Overseer, Accountant-cum-computer operator and Secretary of the Panchayat. In Kashmir it is issued by VLW (Village Level Worker) and GRS (Gram Rozgar Sahayak). The Panchayat along with its representatives especially Panch and Sarpanch have played a key role in this regard in the Valley.
Every household registered under the scheme should be issued a job card. The Act stipulates that job-cards should be issued within a fortnight of the application for registration. Photographs of adult members who are applicants have to be attached to the job-cards. The cost of job-card including photographing has to be borne as part of the programme cost. The Secretary of the Panchayat is responsible for issuing job-cards. The job-cards are issued to the households free of cost. All the respondents reported that they have received job-cards. But some respondents reported that women are willing and ready to work in their locality and they approached the issuing authority for same but unfortunately that authority replied them that you people are unable to do such work which is provided under the MGNREGS. At the same time respondents complained that authority issuing job cards only to their relatives and other related people and not for needy people.
Table 6.5: Year of registration
Districts
YearsNumber of respondents (Percent)
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
2006-070 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
2007-080 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
2008-091 (2.5)3 (7.5)0 (0)0 (0)6 (15.0)9 (4.5)
2009-103 (7.5)9 (22.5)7 (17.5)2 (5.0)0 (0)21
2010-116 (15.0)12 (30.0)5 (12.5)7 (17.5)16 (40.0)46
2011-128 (20.0)9 (22.5)7 (17.5)13 (32.5)11 (27.5)48
2012-137 (17.5)5 (12.5)8 (20.0)11 (27.5)4 (10.0)35
2013-140 (0)0 (0)5 (12.5)7 (17.5)2 (5.0)14
2014-1515 (37.5)2 (5.0)7 (17.5)0 (0)1 (2.5)25
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The Gram Panchayat and concerned authority, after the due verification, issues the job cards to the MGNREGS applicants. As per the information collected from the surveyed sample women, 100 percent of the beneficiaries or workers confirmed that they received the job cards without having any payment or other problems. That means a worker didn’t pay any fees, bribe or other charges to get job cards.
Table 6.6: Have you received job cards?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
No0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
As far as time lag between the date of registration and receipt of job cards is concerned, 51 percent of surveyed people informed that they are able to get the job cards within the stipulated time period without having any delay. But the district like Kulgam took long lag for distributing the job cards. The average number of days taken to distribute it was 18.93 days which are greater than the stipulated time period.
Table 6.7: Time lag between date of registration and receipt of job cards
Districts
Time lagNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
<15 days22 (55.0)0 (0)5 (12.5)9 (22.5)15 (37.5)51 (25.5)
15-25 days9 (22.5)25 (62.5)29 (72.5)21 (52.5)18 (45.0)102 (51.0)
25-30 days5 (12.5)10 (25.0)6 (15.0)6 (15.0)7 (17.5)34 (17.0)
>30 days4 (10.0)5 (12.5)04 (10.0)09 (4.5)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The focus group discussions revealed that the delay was mainly due to inadequate staff allocated for implementation of MGNREGS and lack of computer facilities in the Panchayat. The job cards are issued to all rural households at free of cost including photographing which is taken by Panchayat as a part of implementing cost. During the visit to the worksites, it was found that every worker brings his job card to worksite and possessed the job card for the timely update of the works undertaken (Table 6.8). Comparatively, in some case, as such, was found that the job cards were under the custody of panchayat representative which is mainly due to their illiteracy and reported that the possession of job cards is insecure if workers keep it with themselves. So that it is better to keep with officials of the scheme so that they can reduce the risk of insecurity and loss.
Table 6.8: Possession of job cards
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Self40 (100)32 (80)36 (90)40 (100)40 (100)188 (94.0)
Others0 (0)8 (20)4 (10)0 (0)0 (0)12 (6.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: Household Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Employment
MGNREGS is demand-driven i.e. it provides employment to those who demand it. People who are interested in doing work under MGNREGS should come forward voluntarily and seek work/job under the scheme. The application for registration may be given on a plain paper to the local Gram Panchayat. An individual may also apply for job under MGNREGS in written or in oral. However, among the surveyed respondents, because of inadequate awareness about provisions, most of them reported that they have not demanded any job under MGNREGS, rather information regarding job is available when there is some announcements in Mosques.
After receiving the application for demanding job by the workers, the implementing authority is responsible to give appropriate work within the stipulated time period i.e. two week. In response to the question regarding the time taken by responsible authority to allot work after receiving the application for job, the respondents replied that have not yet demanded any job but after announcement in mosque community they will get job within a week.
If authority fails to provide employment within 15 days of demand, the unemployment allowance payable to the household of an applicant jointly shall be sanctioned ;and disbursed by the Programme Officer or such local authority (including the Panchayat at the district, intermediate or village level) as the state government may, by notification, authorize on its behalf. The Act provides in Section 7 (2) for an unemployment allowance at a rate that shall not be less than “one-fourth of the wage rate for the first thirty days during the financial year and not less than one-half of the wage rate for the remaining period of the financial year.” If the Programme Officer is not in a position to disburse the unemployment allowance in time or at all for any reason beyond his control, he shall report the matter to District Programme Coordinator and announce such reasons in a notice to be displayed on his notice board and the notice board of the Gram Panchayat and such other conspicuous places as he may deem necessary.
But surveyed people who have got job after 15 days i.e. delayed employment didn’t received any type of unemployment allowances and responsible authority doesn’t publish any reason for such a delayed employment on notice board or any such public places. The fighting for unemployment allowance is a big job. Unemployment allowance is the responsibility of the state government and not of the centre. If there is a real struggle for getting unemployment allowance, the state government will turn up to provide 100 days of employment. Most of the respondents reported that they have not received employment in last two years and not received any unemployment allowances, the fact that most of them are unaware about this provision. The focus group discussion with Panch and Sarpanch reveals that delayed employment was due to recent flood and unavailability of fund under MGNREGS and also reported that there is no provision for unemployment allowance.
Table 6.9: Unemployment allowance for beyond 15 days in getting employment
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
No40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
An important indicator of the success of the programme is the number of households who made full use of the 100 days of employment which is one of the important objectives of the MGNREGS. The Act guarantees 100 days of employment to a rural households. Any number of adult members, who registered under the scheme from a household, can work. But the total number of personal days employed per household should not exceed 100 days. Higher percentage of households fully making use of 100 days of work would mean the active participation of the rural households; ability of the Panchayat to identify the works, generate employment opportunities to meet the demand for employment from the rural households; improved income among the households leading to security of access to food and other basic necessities; and checking of distress migration.
Every surveyed woman reported that they have not fully made use of 100 days of guaranteed employment. The maximum number of workers lies between 20 to 30 days which constitute about 32.5 percent of surveyed woman followed by 10-20 days (30.5 per cent), 30-40 days (15 per cent). The highest number of days reported by 50-60 days per year which is only 4 per cent of total surveyed women.
The priorities of the work to be undertaken include water conservation and water harvesting, drought proofing (including afforestation and tree plantation), irrigation canals (including micro and minor irrigation works), provision of irrigation facility to land owned by households belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes or to land of beneficiaries of land reforms or that of the beneficiaries under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) of the Government of India, renovation of traditional water bodies (including desilting of tanks), land development, flood control and protection works (including drainage in water-logged areas), rural connectivity to provide all-weather access, any other work, which may be notified by the central government in consultation with the state government.
Table 6.10: Number of days employed
Districts
DaysNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
1-105 (12.5)3 (7.5)9 (22.5)2 (50)2 (5.0)21 (10.5)
10-2015 (37.5)7 (17.5)13 (32.5)21 (52.5)5 (12.5)61 (30.5)
20-308 (20.0)13 (32.5)16 (40.0)17 (42.5)11 (27.5)65 (32.5)
30-407 (17.5)9 (22.5)2 (5.0)0 (0)12 (30.0)30 (15.0)
40-503 (7.5)6 (15.0)0 (0)0 (0)4 (10.0)13 (6.50)
50-602 (5.0)2 (5.0)0 (0)0 (0)4 (10.0)8 (4.00)
60-700 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)2 (5.0)2 (1.0)
70-800 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
80-900 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
90-1000 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Average
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
An analysis of the participation of the respondents in various items of work reveals (Table 6.11) that majority of the workers (53 percent) were found to get involved under the label of water conservation and water harvesting followed by road connectivity (36.5 percent), renovation of traditional water bodies (36 percent), drought proofing; (33 percent) i.e. majority of the respondents were found to have participated in water conservation and water harvesting during survey period.
Table 6.11: Various items of work
Districts
ItemsNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Flood control18 (45)15 (37.5)5 (12.5)9 (22.5)6 (15.0)53 (26.5)
water conservation23 (11.5)29 (72.5)21 (52.5)18 (45.0)15 (37.5)106 (53.0)
Road connectivity35 (87.5)11(27.5)14 (35)6 (15.0)7 (17.5)73 (36.5)
Land development21 (52.5)5 (12.5)10(25)6 (15.0)3 (7.5)45 (22.5)
Drought proofing5 (12.5)22 (55.0)21 (52.5)7 (17.5)11 (27.5)66 (33.0)
Irrigation8 (20.0)0 (0)3 (7.5)5 (12.5)4 (10)20 (10.0)
Renewal of traditional water bodies14 (35.0)10 (25)6 (15.0)14 (35)28 (70)72 (36.0)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage
Table 6.12 shows that accordingly to 19 percent surveyed workers mentioned that the quality of work is very good and 47 percent argued good, 26 percent average, 15 percent poor and one percent rated very poor.
Table 6.12: Quality of work
Districts
QualityNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Very good5 (12.5)3 (7.5)5 (12.5)10 (25)15 (37.5)38 (19.0)
Good18 (45)23 (11.5)21 (52.5)14 (35)18 (45.0)94 (47.0)
Average15 (37.5)9 (22.5)11 (27.5)11 (27.5)6 (15.0)52 (26.0)
Poor2 (5.0)5 (12.5)3 (7.5)4 (10.0)1 (4.00)15 (7.50)
Very poor0001 (4.00)01 (2.00)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
According to the MGNREGA guidelines, if the worker who has applied for the work under the scheme is not provided employment within the range of 5 km radius of the Grama Panchayat, it must be provided within the Block, and the labourers shall be paid ten per cent of the wage rate as extra wages to meet additional transportation and living expenses. The logic in fixing the limits of 5 km radius is to ensure that the workers do not face hardships in reaching the worksite and do not waste time and energy in commuting to the work site. As far as the distance between home and worksite is concerned 100 percent of surveyed workers argued that they have got work within the 5 kilometers radius of worksite (Table 6.13).
Table 6.13: Distance from the residence to the place of work
Districts
Kilo meterNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
0-5 km40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
>5 km0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Working hours
The working hours as reported by all the respondents (100 percent) across the districts is that the work commences at 9 am and closes at 5 pm (8 hours). During the field survey most of the women workers have suggested to reduce working hours from 8 hours to 7 hours and also some of them suggested to rearrange the time from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. The focus group discussion revealed that as far as women is concerned MGNREGS benefits have not come easily-working hours for women have increased; their leisure time has vanished; and they have to bear with physical and emotional strains. Women get up quite early to fetch water, prepare food, and make arrangements for the children before going to the worksite. Even during the official lunch break, some of them return home to take care of the children and other family members.
The provision of worksite facilities is yet another feature that distinguishes MGNREGS from a routine employment programme which must be ensured by the implementing agencies of the scheme. Worksite facilities comprise the provision of drinking water, shade for rest, medical facilities and crèche facilities for workers. Table 6.14 indicates workers observations about the degree to which each of the above facilities were provided. Of the 4 mandatory worksite facilities, drinking water and first aid etc… were not received at all. Even in this case, there were workers who said that they had to carry their own drinking water, food and others to certain worksites. As per the norms, a crèche facility is provided only if there are at least 5 workers with small children at a worksite. Very often, there would be 3 or 4 young mothers, but because they fell short of the stipulated 5, these women were unable to go to work. In certain wards, workers reported a high predominance of women with small children, who were unable to go for work.
Table 6.14: Facilities made available at the worksite
Districts
ItemsNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Drinking water0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
First aid/medicines0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Tools0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Rest shed0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Crèche0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Food items0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Regarding the adequacy of worksite facilities, every respondent reported that facilities are not adequate. Most of the workers suggested for making available all aforementioned facilities including toilet facilities if possible at the work site. Focus group discussion suggested that if food items like tea and snacks and toilets are provided at the worksite, it is possible to concentrate on work. So that it may be possible to reduce the gap for those purposes.
MGNREGS is a labour intensive way of giving employment. Use of machinery is prohibited. As a vast majority of the participants are landless agriculture labourers, that may not possess the tools. Hence, it is essential that tools are made available at all the worksites by the Panchayats for those who do not possess tools for work. Every respondent reported that they bought their own tools for work (Table 6.15). It is also reported that in some districts using heavy machinery like JCB, Mixer which strictly prohibited and also instead of labour only machines are working which has observed from field study of Baramulla. Some migrants from other district of Bihar and Bangal were found are working under MGNREGS in Kashmir.
Table 6.15: Who provides the tools for the work?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Panchayat0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Self40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Others0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Around the 80 percent (Table 6.16) of workers informed that the tools which they are using at the worksite are worker friendly i.e. capable to use. But some women, physically challenged people and old people (around 10 percent) argued that tools are not worker friendly. It is mainly because that most of such women are new entrants in the job markets, they don’t have any experience of such kind of work and for physically challenged they are incapable to use and for old people they are retired and their old age is not permitting them to do such jobs.
Table 6.16: Is the tools worker’s friendly?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes28 (70.0)32 (80)30 (75)32 (80)38 (95)160 (80.0)
No12 (30.0)8 (20)10 (25)8 (20)2 (5.0)40 (20.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Most of the surveyed woman (89 per cent) informed that they do not face any problem at worksite. But 13.7 percent argued that they are facing the problems at the worksite like misbehaviour of officials and other male workers at worksite, some women workers said that they are reluctant to work at the public places.
Table 6.17: Have you faced any problem at the worksite?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes3 (7.5)7 (17.5)5 (12.5)0 (0)7 (17.5)22 (11.0)
No37 (92.5)33 (82.5)35 (87.5)40 (100)33 (82.5)188 (89.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Wage payments
Payment of wage is a very significant component under the scheme.
The Act has specifically stated that
Every worker under the scheme is entitled to minimum wage as fixed by the state government
Equal wages should be paid to men and women
Wage should be paid on a weekly basis either through bank or post office
Wage rate should be published permanently at every worksite.
These conditions are stipulated to ensure transparency, accountability and corruption free system. As mentioned above, payment of wages within 15 days of completion of the work is one of the important provisions of the scheme. Wages are paid after measuring the work. Overseer/engineer measure the quantity of work before and after the execution of the work. They visit the worksites and measure the work usually after the completion of the muster rolls. They do visit the worksites in between and give necessary instructions at the worksite. The wages are distributed through the bank/post office after the measurements are made.
The minimum wage earned under the scheme as reported by majority of the respondents from the survey (94 percent) is Rs.164/-. Around six per cent of them said that they are receiving Rs. 300/- per day in the district of Badgam. Focus group discussion with Panch and Sarpanch reveals that they are giving two days wage for one day work which is justified in terms of amount of work which they did per day and is equivalent to two days’ work and giving Rs. 300/- per day.
Table 6.18: Wage rate under MGNREGS
Districts
Time lagNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
<1000 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
100-1240 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
125-1490 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
150-16428 (70.0)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)188 (94.0)
>16512 (30.0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)12 (6.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Visits to the worksites revealed the range of wages realized by workers. Most strikingly it can be seen that in each of districts, there were no observable differences in the wages received by male and female MGNREGS workers, thus establishing that the clause of equal wages for men and women under MGNREGS is in fact being adhered to. All the surveyed people (100 percent) reported that they don’t have any difference in wage rate between men and women.
Table 6.19: Whether the wage rates are the same for men and women?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
No0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Focus group discussion revealed that the primary reason for increased women’s participation in the valley is the higher wage rate for female workers and equal wage rate without having any discrimination which makes the MGNREGA wage unattractive to them and most of them are new entrants to job market.
After the introduction of the programme, a national directive was issued to make it mandatory that wages be paid to MGNREGS workers only through banks and post offices within a period of 2 weeks, to ensure speedy and accurate wage transfer to the deserving workers. It was believed that with the separation of implementation and payment agencies, leakages would be reduced along with the probability of money being siphoned away by intermediaries and to prevent corruption and under-payment of wages and also payment having without any delay.
Table 6.20: Mode of payment of wage
Districts
ModeNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Panchayat0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Bank40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Post office0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Others0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
As far as mode of payment of wage under MGNREGS is concerned, 100 percent of surveyed people (Table:6.20) responded that the payment is made through bank which means having greater financial inclusion because most of the MGNREGS workers have opened their bank account after introduction of this scheme especially women workers.
Table 6.21: Is there any problem in withdrawing the cash from the bank?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes2 (5)7 (17.5)3 (0)0 (0)0 (0)12 (6.0)
No38 (95)33 (82.5)37 (92.5)40 (100)40 (100)188 (94.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Around 80 per cent of the respondents reported that they did not face any problem in withdrawing the cash from the bank. Rest did face problems which were mostly related to initial reluctance on the part of the bank officials to entertain MGNREGA accounts and also inadequate official in the bank to deal with MGNREGS account. Focus group discussion emphasizes that banks are either unwilling to cope with the load or they are unable to cope with the load. Just look at the plight of a bank, rural branch where they would get 70 or 80 customers in a day, and suddenly a MGNREGA wage has to be paid, with upwards of 500 beneficiaries seeking their payments turning up on the same day week after week. Such situations led to the work overload in banks and post offices, exacerbating the delays and inconvenience. Lot of pressure on bank manpower on account of MGNREGS accounts and other government benefit accounts results in high costs and low return on such accounts.
Delays in wage payments have emerged as one of the main weaknesses of MGNREGS over the last seven years. According to section 3(3) of MGNREGA, “It is essential to ensure that wages are paid on time. Workers are entitled to being paid on a weekly basis, and in any case within a fortnight of the date on which work was done”. Weekly muster roll is a necessary and primary condition to ensure timely payment of wages within 14 days after the start of work.
Table 6.22: Was there any delay in payment of wages?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes30 (75)32 (80)31 (77.5)25 (62.5)20 (50)138 (69.0)
No10 (25)8 (20)9 (22.5)15 (37.5)20 (50)62 (31.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The wages should be paid on a weekly basis, and in many cases within a fortnight of the date on which the work was done. Around 31 per cent of the respondents (Table: 6.22) reported that the wages were paid within a period of 15 days and remaining 69 percent reported that there is a delay in payment of wage. It took more than 15 days to get wage in the case of around three-fourth of the respondents. Important reasons for the delay in payment of wages as reported by the respondents and as learnt during the focus group discussions were; delay in making available the MGNREGS funds, lack of staff; delay in closing muster rolls; delay in data-entry, delay in measurement; lack of adequate monitoring by the Panchayat; delay in transfer of cash to sub-agency, and delay on the part of the bank etc.
A few respondents could get their wage on time. Around 63 percent of respondents reported that it lies between 15 to 30 days. There were incidents of delay beyond one month in all districts except Srinagar district, but their share is very low, i.e. 12 percent.
As per the Schedule II, Section 30 of MGNREGA, “In the event of any delay in wage payments, workers are entitled to compensation as per the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. Compensation costs shall be borne by the state government”. It is recommended that in case of any delayed wage payments, states will be required to pay compensation of 0.1 percent (wage amount delayed) per delayed day of labour. But such provision of compensation for delayed payment is not paid for any workers yet. In some years worker do not get any employment and no such compensation is paid for them.
Table 6.23: Time lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wages
Districts
Time lagNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
<15 days10 (25)8 (20)9 (22.5)15 (37.5)20 (50)62 (31.0)
15-30days25 (62.5)30 (75)28 (70.0)25 (62.5)18 (45)126 (63.0)
>30 days5 (12.5)2 (5.0)3 (7.50)0 (0)2 (5.0)12 (6.0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Table 6.24: Whether there is any board established at the worksite?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
No40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
In order to ensure transparency in implementation of the scheme, it is required to display information through citizen information which gives information regarding attendance, work done and wages paid in the presence of workers at the end of the day by the person authorized. But all respondents’ emphasized that there doesn’t have any such board at worksite by giving such above mentioned information (table: 6.24). FGD with Punch, Sarpanch and beneficiaries informed that there is no such system of board, but after completion of a particular project, the authority establish permanent board highlighting some information like this work under taken under MGNREGS, the amount of work and sanctioned amount for this work.
Effect of MGNREGA on the market wage rate
In the state of Jammu and Kashmir where the market wage rate is very high, so the people are interested in working in common jobs where they (males) are able to get wage rate between Rs. 400 to Rs. 600 and for females it lies between Rs. 300 to Rs. 450. But if they are working under MGNREGS they are entitled to get around Rs. 150 which is too low when we compare it with market wage rate. Most of the workers (males as well as females) working under this scheme are in old age group; as they are unable to do such common works, they have not participated in common jobs and thus are new entrants in the labour market. That is why even after the introduction of MGNREGS people are reluctant to work under the scheme and also migrating to other such places where they able to get better and higher wage after working under this scheme. All these show that MGNREGS wage rate doesn’t have any effect on the market wage rate in Kashmir valley. But the women working under scheme in Kashmir valley either working due to poverty or they have no other option than working under MGNREGS. For them it is a big addition to their income although wage rate is low compared to market wage rate.
Bank related information in MGNREGS
As far as possible, wage disbursement agency should be different from the implementing agency to achieve fairness and transparency in wage payments. Banks and post offices are well established financial institutions and can be reliable service providers in disbursement of wages. This has been an important initiative, for it provided thousands of workers with a bank account, which they consider as a symbol of dignity and have greater financial inclusion. This has been expressed by workers across the five districts, majority say that they would have otherwise never have had a bank account of their own. This is particularly so, with the majority of MGNREGS workers being women. All the respondents from five districts argued that everyone started bank account most of which are newly started especially for payment of MGNREGS wage. This means that there has been high banking and financial inclusion as a result of introduction of MGNREGS in Kashmir valley. Thus, payment of wages to workers employed under MGNREGA works can be done with speed, reliability, low transaction costs and leakages, if each worker has a bank account in which wages are transferred periodically.
Table 6.25: Whether the wage rate mentioned on the board?
Districts
ModeNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Panchayat0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Bank40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Post office0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Others0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey, Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage
As far as the year of opening of account is concerned, surveyed people informed that around 43 percent have started their account in the year of 2011-12 followed by 2009-10 with 34 percent and this process has been continuing with greater success with high banking/ financial inclusion (Table: 6.26). 28 percent had bank account before introduction of MGNREGS and remaining 72 percent started only for MGNREGS wage payment.
Table 6.26: Year of opening account
Districts
YearsNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Before 20065 (12.5)1 (4.00)3 (7.5)7 (17.5)12 (30.0)28 (14.0)
2006-070 (0)3 (7.5)5 (12.5)0 (0)0 (0)8 (4.0)
2007-089 (22.5)5 (12.5)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)14 (7.0)
2008-092 (5.0)4 (10.0)11(27.5)0 (0)5 (12.5)22 (11.0)
2009-106 (15.0)0 (0)7 (17.5)15 (37.5)6 (15.0)34 (17.0)
2010-111 (4.00)0 (0)0 (0)5 (12.5)12 (30.0)18 (9.0)
2011-1210(25)15 (37.5)0 (0)13 (32.5)5 (12.5)43 (21.5)
2012-135 (12.5)11(27.5)14 (35)0 (0)0 (0)30 (15.0)
2013-142 (5.0)1 (4.00)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)3 (1.5)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
It is a well-established argument that the coverage of banks and post offices in rural India is patchy and as a consequence workers especially in remote parts of the country find it difficult to travel long distances to collect their wages causing delays in payments. But, interestingly though findings from a field survey in districts of J&K indicate that approximately 16 percent (Table 6.27) of workers who lived more than 5 km from a bank/ post office expressed the preference for bank payments over cash despite the distance, indicating that deeper problems lie elsewhere which lead to the major inconvenience including much spending of time and money in making frequent journeys to the bank/ post office for MGNREGA workers; in cases where there is no bank or post office within reasonable distance. The increase in the number of branches has not answered the needs of the poor; and reaching the unbanked population to enable inclusive growth is a serious problem today. Branchless banking could be the big step towards providing easy financial access to the poor people.
Table 6.27: Distance from the residence to bank or post office
Districts
Kilo meterNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
1-5 km32 (80)29 (72.5)33 (82.5)40 (100)34 (85)168 (84)
5-10 km8 (20)11 (27.5)7 (17.5)0 (0)6 (15)32 (16)
>10 km0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Regarding the question about who opened your bank account, every surveyed workers responded that (100 percent) opened their accounts themselves with the help of their husband i.e. doesn’t have any intermediate or middleman during the process of opening account.
Table 6.28: Who opened your account?
Districts
WhoNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Self40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Grama Panchayat0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Middle men0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Other0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The 100 percent of the surveyed people agreed that they were charged nothing to open bank account that is all of the bank accounts opened under MGNREGS are zero balance accounts.
Table 6.29: Do you have to pay to open your bank account?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
No40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The paying agency is responsible for collecting acquaintance through signature/ thumb impression of the workers. The question regarding signature, all the surveyed respondents (100 percent) argued (Table 6.30) that they put their signature on paper/ pass book when they went to collect wage. And they have also argued that, their passbook is also updated after collecting the wage.
Table 6.30: Do you put your signature on any paper when you went to collect your wages?
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Yes40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
No0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Thus as far as the payment of wage under MGNREGS is concerned, 100 percent beneficiaries have account either in bank or post office and MGNREGS is turned out to be the largest banking inclusion scheme for the rural poor by which wages are disbursed through this account. But the payment of wage delays and does not bring any compensation for that. The focus group discussion emphasized that the switch to bank payments has without a doubt provided substantial protection against embezzlement and is a critical step towards ensuring greater accountability in the disbursement of wages under the MGNREGA. However, these payments are getting delayed for various reasons. Lot of pressure on bank manpower on account of MGNREGS accounts and other government benefit accounts results in high costs and low return on such accounts. Regular banking business/Regular customer service get affected on account of heavy rush on payment days. Thus it is an important cause for severe delays in the disbursement of wages, which reflects the institutional incapacity of rural banks to handle the huge volume of accounts.
Migration
Migration is an important aspect of this scheme since it is expected that MGNREGS would ultimately check migration from rural area by developing sustainable employment at their door step. One of the significant objective of the MGNREGA is to arrest out-migration of unskilled, landless labour force from the rural areas to urban areas by ensuring up to 100 days of wage employment within their native jurisdiction so that these 100 days guaranteed wage employment can be judiciously and rationally utilized by the landless peasants during lean and distress seasons.
It has the provision of steady and regular stream of employment at assured minimum wages nearer home to rural households, so that they could be saved of the ordeal of distress migration to eke out a livelihood, especially during the off seasons. But the case was not like that in Kashmir valley. Some of the workers who are employed under MGNREGS yet did not work anywhere. So that problem of migration is not arising in that case. But even after introduction of MGNREGS the workers from rural areas are still migrating. 80.5 percent of workers from the surveyed women argued that they have not migrated yet, mainly because of the fact that most of them reported that they are the new entrants in the labour markets. (Table: 6.31) But the less per cent of women workers (19.5 percent) informed that they migrated before the introduction of the scheme and highest migration district is Kargil (35 percent of their total) with zero migration from Srinagar district. Out of all surveyed woman workers migrating in search of job, migration was found to be of rural to rural nature.
Table 6.31: Migration before introduction of MGNREGA
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Not Migrated35 (87.5)31 (77.5)29 (72.5)40 (100)26 (65)161 (80.5)
Migrated5 (12.5)9 (22.5)11 (27.5)0 (0)14 (35)39 (19.5)3
Total40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)40 (100)200 (100)
Place of migration
Rural to Urban0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Rural to Rural5 (12.5)9 (22.5)11 (27.5)0 (0)14 (35)39 (19.5)3
Outside state0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
Table 6.32: Reasons for migration
Districts
ReasonsNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
High opportunity0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Higher wage rate0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Both5 (100)9 (100)11 (100)0 (0)14 (100)39 (100)3
Other0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Total5 (100)9 (100)11 (100)0 (0)14 (100)39 (100)3
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
As far as the reasons of migration are concerned, both high employment opportunities and higher market wage availability attracted workers to migrate from their native place. (Table: 6.32) The workers were asked if any member of their household stopped migrating after the scheme, in this context, one of the interesting fact that even after introduction of MGNREGS every migrated of surveyed women workers from total migration are still migrating. The respondents reported that the economic pulls and pressures work more strongly for the simple reason that there are no alternative employment opportunities and the meager amount of works available under MGNREGS are not sufficient to hold them back.
Table 6.33: Migration after introduction of MGNREGA
Districts
ResponseNumber of respondents
BadgamBaramullaKulgamSrinagarKargilTotal
Not Migrated0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Migrated5 (100)9 (100)11 (100)0 (0)14 (100)39 (100)3
Total5 (100)9 (100)11 (100)0 (0)14 (100)39 (100)3
Source: MGNREGA HH Survey
Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage.
The focus group discussion brought out the reality that higher availability of market wage rate under the jobs other than MGNREGS, limited hundred days guaranteed employment, seeking employment during lean season, more members from one household etc. are the main reasons for migration even after introduction of MGNREGS. Thus MGNREGS has not stemmed migration, even after working under MGNREGS migration is still common in the all the districts of Kashmir valley.
Chapter - 7
Conclusions and Suggestions
Chapter - 7
Conclusions and Suggestions
Assessments on gender dimensions of public works programmes typically revolve around three issues related to women’s access to the direct and indirect benefits associated with these programmes: whether or not women have equal access to direct wage employment benefits; factors of design and implementation that determine women’s participation; and whether women benefit equally from the assets created by public works. It is beyond doubt that the MGNREGA has proven to be an important arena of women’s participation in wage employment-these have been somewhat stable over time and on average above the norm established by the programme design itself. In states where allocation of work appears to be progressive, the state needs to continue to play a supporting role and address higher order concerns such as conditions in the work place and women’s participation in decision making processes locally. In states where women’s participation is weak and rationing indicates some sort of administrative discrimination, policies have to focus on enabling women to access work and sensitizing implementing staff.
Major findings
In Jammu and Kashmir, the participation of women in MGNERGA is very less as compared to other states. The data reveals the existences of gender discrimination in work creation in the state where less than one-third i.e. 25.69 per cent during 2014-15, of all work days are given to women which is the lowest level among the states as against 55.09 per cent of women participation during the same period at the all-India level. The participation of women has increased drastically from its early years of implementation i.e. it was only 0.92 per cent during 2007-08 to 25.69 percent in 2014-15 and it also expected that state may achieve its minimum requirement of MGNREGS provision of 33 percent within two three years. The highest participation of women under MGNERGA in the state during the financial year 2014-15 was in Kargil (59.67 percent), followed by Leh (58.65 percent), Srinagar (39.87 percent), whereas the lowest participation was in Ramban (0) and Budgam (4.43 percent).
As far as the woman work participation is concerned there are marked differences observed across the divisions in the State. The highest participation was found in Ladakh division which has increased from 46.93 percent during 2006-07 to 59.16 percent in 2014-15 followed by Kashmir division where participation increased from 0.06 percent to 20.42 percentages during the same period with the low participation of women under scheme in the state is reported from Jammu division which is 18.86 percent during 2014-15 which rose from 3.14 percent in its early period of implementation. Although there is tremendous sustained improvement in women participation over earlier period of implementation of the scheme, MGNREGS in Kashmir and Jammu divisions shortfalls 33 percent, which is reserved for women as per MGNREGS provision.
For identifying factors which determine participation of women under MGNREGS, the determinants are categorised as personal, promoting and hindering factor. The personal factors like high age and family size, low land possession, illiterate, married women, minority castes like OBC, SC and ST, low income group and BPL family are positively correlated to women participation. The factors like minimum wage rate, mode of payment, worksite facilities, asset creation, timely employment, support from family, self-dignity, group work and equal wage rate for men and women are promoting women participation. The factors like delayed wage payment, untimely wage payment, household workload, own agricultural work, religious restrictions, security problem and rigid timing are identified as major hindering factors of women participation.
By constructing composite women empowerment index (CWEI) comprising socio-economic and political empowerment index for measuring the impact of MGNREGS on women empowerment. The overall empowerment status of women is not found to be very satisfactory. But still the empowerment level of women beneficiaries of MGNREGS was slightly higher than non-beneficiaries. The value of composite women empowerment index is highest for Kargil district (0.593) in case of beneficiaries and 0.477 in case of non-beneficiaries followed by Srinagar district, 0.526 and 0.451 in case of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries respectively. The lowest composite women empowerment index is found to be Baramulla district the value of 0.430 in case of beneficiaries and 0.271 in case of non-beneficiaries showing wide gap between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. The results reveal that, although the composite women empowerments index value is less in Baramulla district, the difference between value of index in case of beneficiaries and non- beneficiaries is higher in district. Therefore impact of empowerment is more visible in Baramulla district.
The analysis on the sources through which the household become aware of the scheme indicates that the friends/relatives/neighbours have a key role in creating awareness about MGNREGS. Panchayats representatives and media like newspapers, radio, and television have also played a significant role in generating awareness about the scheme. Most of the respondents agreed that easy availability of work is the main reason for working under MGNREGS and also poverty forces women to do work under the Scheme even though they unwilling to do work in public places. All the respondents have awareness only about the basic provisions like 100 days guaranteed employment per household, equal wage for men and women, mode of payment etc. The level of awareness is also very low in the valley including non- beneficiaries of the scheme which is mainly because of its low female literacy rate and educational status, inadequate advertisement, unwillingness of women to participate under ay governmental scheme, less active approach of grass root institutions like Panchayats and SHG and its representatives.
As per sampled beneficiaries, 100 percent of the beneficiaries confirmed that they received the job cards without having any payment or other problems. That means a worker didn’t pay any fees, bribe or other charges to get job cards. As far as time lag between the date of registration and receipt of job cards is concerned, 51 percent of surveyed people informed that they are able to get the job cards within the stipulated time period without having any delay. But the district like Kulgam took long lag for distributing the job cards. During the visit to the worksites, it was found that every worker brings his job card to worksite and possessed the job card for the timely update of the works undertaken.
The time taken by authority to allot work after receiving the application for job, respondents replied that we are not yet demanded for job but after announcement in mosque community they will get job after 15 days and delayed employment didn’t received any type of unemployment allowances and authority doesn’t publish any reason for such a delayed employment on notice board or any such public places. The respondents’ reported that they have not fully made use of 100 days of guaranteed employment. The maximum number of workers lies between 20 to 30 days which constitute about 32.5 percent of surveyed woman. The highest number of days reported by 50-60 days per year which is only 4 per cent of total surveyed women. An analysis of the participation of the respondents in various items of work reveals that majority of the workers were found to get involved under the label of water conservation and water harvesting and road connectivity. According to 19 percent surveyed workers mentioned that the quality of work is very good and 47 percent argued good, 26 percent average, 15 percent poor and one percent rated very poor. As far as the distance between home and worksite is concerned 100 percent argued that they have got work within the 5 kilometers radius of worksite. Workers are not received any of the 4 mandatory worksite facilities. Every respondent reported that they bought their own tools for work and 80 percent of workers informed that the tools which they are using in the worksite are workers friendly. Most of the surveyed woman informed that they do not face any problem at worksite.
Payment of wage is a very significant component under the scheme. The minimum wage rate reported by majority of the respondents from the survey is Rs.164/-. No observable differences are found in the wages received by male and female MGNREGS workers, thus establishing that the clause of equal wages under MGNREGS is in fact being adhered to. As far as mode of payment of wage is concerned, everyone responded that the payment is made through bank which means have greater banking inclusion because most of the MGNREGS workers have opened their bank account after introduction of this scheme. Around 80 per cent of the respondents reported that they did not face any problem in withdrawing the cash from the bank. Around 31 per cent of the respondents reported that the wages were paid within a period of 15 days and remaining reported that there is a delay in payment of wage. MGNREGS wage rate doesn’t have any effect on the market wage rate in Kashmir valley. But the women working under scheme in either working due to poverty or no other option than working under MGNREGS. For them it is a big addition to their income although wage rate is low.
Near about 16 percent of workers who lived more than 5 km from a bank expressed the preference for cash over bank payments indicating the deeper problems lie which lead to the major inconvenience. Every surveyed workers responded that opened their accounts themselves with the help of their husband without any intermediary and they have not been charged any payment for that. The question regarding signature, all the surveyed respondents argued that they put their signature on paper/ pass book when they went to collect wage and their passbook is also updated after collecting the wage.
Almost 80 percent of workers from the surveyed women argued that they have not migrated yet, mainly because of the fact that most of them are reported that they are the new entrants in the labour markets. But the less per cent of women workers (19.5 percent) informed that they are migrated before the introduction of the scheme and highest migrated district is Kargil. As far as the reasons of migration are concerned, both high employment opportunities and higher market wage availability attracted workers to migrate from their native place. One of the interesting fact that even after introduction of MGNREGS every migrated of surveyed women workers from total migration are still migrating. The respondents reported that the economic pulls and pressures work more strongly for the simple reason that there are no alternative employment opportunities and the meager amount of works available under MGNREGS are not sufficient to hold them back.
Suggestions and recommendations
Creation of special programmes for women empowerment
J&K State Government should implement the women-oriented community based poverty alleviation programme which is based on micro-credit and self-help group, with the active support of Central Government and other financial institutions like NABARD to cure the morbid development imbalance of women in the State. The Programme should aim at removing poverty among rural women households, the empowerment of women, through forming active self-help groups and encouraging their entrepreneurial or other wide range of activities to ensure that the women should no longer remain as passive recipients of public assistance, but active leaders in women involved development initiatives and participatory approach with slogan that “reaching out to families through women and reaching out to community through families”.
Gender equality in MGNREGA policies
The big challenge is to redeploy the machinery already in place to overcome persistent gender inequalities, in both economic and socio-cultural spheres. The need of women’s interests and inclusion of adequate numbers of women in management and social audits of creation and maintenance of productive assets for their empowerment is very important. The errors or omissions and systematic de-emphasizing of gender equality in MGNREGA policies need to be made visible through district-level and country-level workshops. An integrated approach that links equality-based rights to manage productive assets and gender inclusive, participatory rural institutions is the need of the hour for sustainable development.
Role of SHG’s (Linking SHG’s with MGNREGA)
The SHGs are one of the potential institutions at the grassroots level, which can be used as an instrument of empowerment of women and gender responsive implementation of guaranteed employment. As like in Kerala linking Kudumbashree (SHG in Kerala) with MGNREGA as one of the major reason for high women participation, it is necessary to strength promotion and implementation of SHG’s in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and link or converge same with MGNREGS for active and more participation of women in the state under the scheme. However, capacity-building improvement of members of SHGs through skill training and mandatory measure of gender equality in management and control rights to productive assets are critical, only then it would be possible for SHGs to act as an effective agency for rural development under MGNREGA. In addition, it is important to add some minimum social security such as maternity leave and benefits and health insurance. From a policy stand point of view, my recommendation is that in debates around women’s work and childcare, the issue of quality needs to be put forth first and not treated as something to be addressed at a later stage.
Linkages with social welfare programmes
Empowerment of workers and their holistic development depends, in terms of their strategies to a great extent on the linkages of MGNREGA and other development programmes. Linkages with social welfare programmes such as rural health mission, literacy programme, Anganwadi scheme and other various insurance schemes is needed to ensure basic human entitlements to the worker that, in turn will enhance their capacity to negotiate their right under the Act and will increase their bargaining capacity.
Provide incentives for their participation
It has been observed during the field survey that the success or failure of the scheme in achieving its objectives depends, to a greater extent, on the people associated with the scheme especially women. The individual initiatives of Panchayat officers, district Panchayat officers, supporting staff and Gram Panchayat representatives are found to have significant influence on the implementation of the scheme, where officials and representatives were found to be proactive and initiatives takers, the success rate was high. Therefore, at each year the best performing Grama Panchayat/ block and district could be honored and rewarded so as to provide an incentive to them to perform better especially for women.
Creation of awareness regarding MGNREGS and its provisions
Every rural household is familiar with the name of employment guarantee of 100 days of employment over the last seven years. But most of the workers especially women are not aware of the unemployment allowance, payment of wage, social audit etc. There should be continuous efforts towards creating adequate awareness on different provisions of MGNREGS amongst the people. It is necessary to take steps to ensure the informed participation of people in the neighbourhood and ward level meetings. Not only are existing levels of participation low, the workers are not adequately informed about the nature and scope of MGNREGA activities. Both worker’s awareness and levels of participation need to be enhanced. Provide professional inputs to make ward level micro planning realistic. Creating awareness is necessary not only to motivate the people to work under the scheme but also to encourage them to participate in its planning and implementation. No such initiatives were found in the valley for active participation of women.
Women participation in gram sabha
In Kashmir, the Gram Sabhas are not properly functioning because of internal security reasons. Although the Gram Sabhas have started functioning again after revival of peace in the valley, the women participation in these institutions is very negligible. Since decisions related to the implementation of NREGA works are supposed to take place in gram sabhas, it is significant that most women should take part in gram sabha elections for that there is an immediate need of internal security and social protection for them.
Broadening the understanding of poverty
The programme would make greater dent on poverty and development through a broadening of the understanding of the sources of poverty. MGNREGA serve as an additional source of cash income to address poverty and vulnerability in mountainous regions. The programme needs to find ways of blending itself into the daily lives of people, and addressing ecological poverty and not just income poverty through suitable modifications in programme design.
Payment through fast mobile banking
The potential for allowing women to make some savings is an important achievement of this programme. Facilitating their ability to save toward specific purchases through easily accessible bank accounts is a way of enhancing well‐being. At present, even when money is deposited in a bank or post office, access is often difficult, making frequent withdrawals inconvenient, and hence encouraging withdrawal of the full amount. Better system of payment through fast mobile banking is an important need of hour.
Contract assignment to the owner of the place
The continued illegal presence of contractor is a significant negative factor affecting the availability the work and its benefits for women. On worksites where contractors are present women workers are under the threat of harassment as compared to contract free worksites. Besides the conditions by work at worksites run by contractors tends to be more exploitative. Therefore, the first importance for the assignment of contract should be given to the owner of the place.
System of wage payment
Design special Statement of Rates (SOR) for women, preferably through conducting a systematic time and motion study, to ensure that they earn the set minimum wages and provide 100 days of work to all including women workers, as this will accelerate the process of women’s empowerment.
A comprehensive training programme for elected women representatives
Some training programme for elected women representatives of Gram Panchayats regarding their duties and right regarding the Scheme and importance of their empowerment from supressed situation from main society by understanding their role in the society for over all empowerment society and women in particular, so that the Scheme can be implemented in an effective manner by emphasizing the special provisions which are exclusively reserved for overall empowerment of women under MGNREGS.
Appoint female supervisors/mates on MGNREGS
Women participation can be enhanced by appointing female supervisors on MGNREGS works and in conducting social audits women should be involved in the selection of works, which can create further mainstream employment in the village.
Provide adequate worksite facilities
It is found no worksite facilities like water, medical facilities, shade and crèches are found which adversely affected women participation in the valley. Accordingly, it has made available that the provision of crèche for 5 children along with other facilities of shade, water, first-aid etc. to encourage women participation. So the steps should be taken to provide adequate worksite facilities. For this purpose separate mechanism should be evolved. The provision of food for women at the work sites creates enthusiasm among women to participate in MGNREGS works. There is need to provide health care/medical facilities, vaccination, supplementary nutrition etc... for women at the worksites. In some places, where the water availability is not adequate, women have to walk far of places. In such cases, trolleys are used for brining water to worksites to reduce drudgery.
Other suggestions
Women friendly tools have to be made available to women, minimizing health hazards caused by the heavy tools
Steps are to be taken to mitigate the problem of harassment of women at the worksites
Women friendly work like horticulture and nurseries may be taken up and preference should be given to pregnant, lactating and aged women
Maternity benefits are every women’s right. So there should be the provision of paid maternity leave for those who have been on MGNREGS for at least 30 days in a year
There should be reservation of at least 50 per cent for women
Provide social safety, protection and security to female workers to encourage their participation
Promote female leaders which may incentivise other women to come forward
Active participation of Panchayati Raj Institutions as it is the grass root level institution for implementation of the MGNREGS
Promoting the slogan of “Group Work”
Reduction/ Elimination of Corruption by Punishment
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Appendices
Appendix - I
Women Empowerment through MGNREGS
A Study with Special Reference to Kashmir Valley
Interview Schedule for Women Beneficiaries under MGNREGS
Basic information (use codes)
DistrictPanchayat
BlockAge
Religion*(c)Caste**(c)
Educational Qualification***(c)
Marital Status****(c)
Whether belongs to APL(1)/BPL(2) (c)
Occupation
Family Size
Land holding
Annual Income*****(c)
Membership in village organization
(c): Code Applicable
* Muslim: 1, Hindu: 2, Christian: 3, Sikhs: 4, Others: 5
** SC: 1, ST: 2, OBC: 3, General: 4, Other: 5
*** Illiterate: 1, L.P: 2, U.P: 3, SS/HSS: 4, Graduate: 5, Other: 6
**** Married: 1, Unmarried: 2, Widowed: 3, Divorced: 4
*****Less than 1000:1, 1000-5000: 2, 5000-100000: 3, 10000-20000: 4, Above 20000: 5
Awareness about MGNREGA
How did you come to know about MGNREGA in your area?
Newspapers/Radio/TelevisionSHG
NGO RepresentativeFriends/Relatives/Neighbors
PanchayatAny other specifies
Are you working under this programme? Yes/No
If yes, what makes you to choose this scheme?
Work easily availableRecognizes the people's need
Better wageAny other
Are you aware of the important provisions of MGNREGA? (√)
Number of days of employment per household per year
Minimum wages per day per worker
Unemployment allowance per day per worker
Procedures of payment
Equal wage for men and women
Work within the radius of 5 km
Any compensation to move to the workplace
Role of Grama Panchayat
Medical assistance for injured workers
Worksite facilities
Social Audit
Registration/Job cards
Have you registered under MGNREGA? Yes/No If yes, then
When did you register? (Specify year)
Have you received job card? Yes/No
What was the time lag between date of registration and receipt of job card?
<15 days25-30 days
20-25 days>30 days
Have you faced any problem related with registration? Yes/No
If yes, specify the problems
Have you spent any amount for receiving job card? Yes/No
If yes, specify the amount.
Who bears the cost of photography?
Whether the labourers employed at this worksite have to pay any fees, bribes or other charges to get a job card? Yes/No.
If yes, whom did you pay? (Multiple answers possible)
Ward memberGovernment officer
Village leaderOther (specify)_________
Do you find any evidence of irregularities of the Job cards? Yes/No
If yes, specify
Employment
Have you sought employment under the scheme? Yes/No if yes
Did the Gram Panchayat issue the date of the receipt of the application? Yes/No
Time taken by Panchayat to allot work after application receival.
One week
Two week
More than two week
Was there any delay beyond 15 days in getting employment Yes/No
If yes were you given unemployment allowance? Yes/No
If yes what is the amount received?
For how many days have you got employed in a year?
Specify the various items of work in which you participated? (Multiple choice possible)
Flood controlDrought proofing
water conservationIrrigation
Road connectivityRenewal of traditional water bodies
Land development
How would you rate the quality of the work executed?
Very Good
Good
Average
Poor
Very Poor
What is the distance from the residence to the place of work?
< 1 km
1-3 km
3-5 km
5 km
Were you given TA if the worksite was beyond the distance of 5 km? Yes/No
If ‘yes’ what was the TA received?
What are the working hours?
In which season you are working under the scheme (Winter/Summer/Harvesting)
What are the facilities made available at the worksite?
Drinking waterFirst aid kitFood items
ToolsRest shadeCrèche
Are they adequate? Yes/No
Who provides the tools for the work at the worksite?
Panchayat
Self
Combined
Others
If ‘self’, are the tools of your own or hired?
If ‘hired’ what is the rent paid by you for the tools?
Are the tools worker friendly? Yes/No
Have you faced any problems at the worksite? Yes/No
If ‘yes’ give details
Wage payment
How much do you get as a wage?
Whether the workers at this worksite earn the minimum wage? Yes/No
Whether you notice any cases of workers earning more than the minimum wage? Y/N
Whether the wage rates are the same for men and women? Yes/ No
If No, then why?
How is your wage paid?
Bank
Panchayat Office
Post Office
Other
Was there any delay in payment of wages? Yes/No
What is the time-lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wages?
Before 15 days
15-30 days
More than 30 days
What are the reasons attributed for the delay of payment?
Were you able to get the wages in ‘full’? Yes/No
If ‘No’ why?
Is the muster roll read out when wages are paid? Yes/No
What is the effect of MGNREGA on the wage structures in the market?
Decreased/increased from Rs.____ to Rs._____ for men.
Decreased/increased from Rs.____ to Rs._____ for women.
Whether there is any board at the worksite giving details of the sanctioned amount, work dimensions and other requisite details? Yes/No
Whether the wage rate is mentioned on the board? Yes/No
Financial inclusion
Do you have an MGNREGS bank account? Yes/No
When did you open this A/c? (After/Before introduction of NREGA)
How far (in Kms) is your bank/PO from your place of residence?
1 to 5 km
5 to 10 km
Above 10 km
Who opened your account?
Self
GP official
Contractor or middleman
Other (specify)
Whether you went to the bank/PO at the time of the opening of the account? Yes/No
If the wage is paid through bank/post office, was there any problem in withdrawing the cash from the bank/post office. Yes/No
If ‘yes’ specify the problems.
Do you have to pay to open your bank account? Yes/No
If yes, how much do you have to pay (Rs.)?
Do you put your signature/thumb print on any paper when you go to collect your wages? Yes/No
Whether your passbook is updated when you go to collect your wages? Yes/No
Migration
Did you migrate in search of job before the introduction of the scheme? Yes/No
If yes to which place?
Rural to Urban
Rural to Rural
Reasons of migration
Lack of opportunity in native placeLow wage rate
BothOther
Whether you migrate during off season? Yes/No
Do you migrate after the introduction of MGNREGS? Yes/No
Identify following empowerment effect of MGNREGS (√ )
SL. No.Empowerment indicatorsSDDNASA
Economic empowerment
1.Employment Opportunity Increased
2.Increase in Income & Expenditure
3.Improvement in Living Standard and satisfaction
4.Equal Wage Rate for Men and Women
5.Market wage rate increased
6.Increase in Savings and Investment Activities
7.Increase in the Local Wage Rate of Wage Earners
8.Checking Distress Migration from Village
9.Repayment of family debt/ lowering indebtedness
10.More Financial Inclusion (Banking inclusion)
Social empowerment
11.Literacy/ Improvement in Enrolment ratio
12.Medicine/Improved Health care
13.Improvement of Self Esteem and Confidence
14.Improvement in Social Status
15.Increased Social Interaction
16.Improved Dignity of Labour
17.Increased Social Parity
18.Improved Control Rights of Women in Earning
19.Increased Participation in Social Audit
20.Increased role in household decision making
21.Enhancement of Knowledge
22.Enhancement of Choices and Capability
Political empowerment
23.Increased Political Awareness
24.Participation in Political Parties
25.Participation in elections
26.Interaction with officials/ representative
27.Participation in Meetings of Village Panchayat/Gram Sabha
28.Participation in Political Organisation/SHG
29Participation in Decision Making
Identify promoting/hindering factors for participation of women under scheme
Promoting factors (√ )
Minimum wagesMode of payment
Timely wagesWorksite facilities
Work taken up on their own landAttitude/sensitivity of officials
Assets created which are beneficialTimely employment
Support from familySHG membership
Higher wages than market wageSelf-esteem/self-dignity
Equal wagesGroup Work
Others
Hindering factors (√)
Household work loadOwn agriculture works
Health problemsDelayed payment
Untimely employmentLower than market wages
Unequal wagesHarassment at worksite
Gender & caste discriminationAttitude of officials
Group arrangementProblems in getting employment
Religious problemsSecurity problems
Rigid timings
Identification of strengths, weaknesses and suggested measures
Kindly identify the main weaknesses of the scheme felt by you and also suggest few measures to improve the implementation of the scheme especially related with women.
Strength
………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
Weaknesses
………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
Suggestions
………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
Appendix - II
Women Empowerment through MGNREGS:
A Study with Special Reference to Kashmir Valley
Interview Schedule for Women Non-Beneficiaries
Basic information: (use codes)
DistrictPanchayat
BlockAge
Religion*(c)Caste**(c)
Educational Qualification***(c)
Marital Status****(c)
Whether belongs to APL(1)/BPL(2) (c)
Occupation
Family Size
Land holding
Annual Income*****(c)
Membership in village organization
(c): Code Applicable
* Muslim: 1, Hindu: 2, Christian: 3, Sikhs: 4, Others: 5
** SC: 1, ST: 2, OBC: 3, General: 4, Other: 5
*** Illiterate: 1, L.P: 2, U.P: 3, SS/HSS: 4, Graduate: 5, Other: 6
**** Married: 1, Unmarried: 2, Widowed: 3, Divorced: 4
*****Lessthan 1000:1, 1000-5000: 2, 5000-100000: 3, 10000-20000: 4, Above 20000: 5.
Identify promoting/hindering factors for participation of women under scheme
Promoting factors (√ )
Minimum wagesMode of payment
Timely wagesWorksite facilities
Work taken up on their own landAttitude/sensitivity of officials
Assets created which are beneficialTimely employment
Support from familySHG membership
Higher wages than market wageSelf-esteem/self-dignity
Equal wagesGroup Work
Others
Hindering factors (√ )
Household work loadOwn agriculture works
Health problemsDelayed payment
Untimely employmentLower than market wages
Unequal wagesHarassment at worksite
Gender & caste discriminationAttitude of officials
Group arrangementProblems in getting employment
Religious problemsSecurity problems
Rigid timings
Identify following empowerment effect of MGNREGS (√ )
S. NoEmpowerment indicatorsSDDNASA
Economic empowerment
1.Employment Opportunity Increased
2.Increase in Income & Expenditure
3.Improvement in Living Standard and satisfaction
4.Equal Wage Rate for Men and Women
5.Market wage rate increased
6.Increase in Savings and Investment Activities
7.Increase in the Local Wage Rate of Wage Earners
8.Checking Distress Migration from Village
9.Repayment of family debt/lowering indebtedness
10.More Financial Inclusion (Banking inclusion)
Social empowerment
11.Literacy/Improvement in Enrolment ratio
12.Medicine/Improved Health care
13.Improvement of Self Esteem and Confidence
14.Improvement in Social Status
15.Increased Social Interaction
16.Improved Dignity of Labour
17.Increased Social Parity
18.Improved Control Rights of Women in Earning
19.Increased Participation in Social Audit
20.Increased role in household decision making
21.Enhancement of Knowledge
22.Enhancement of Choices and Capability
Political empowerment
23.Increased Political Awareness
24.Participation in Political Parties
25.Participation in elections
26.Interaction with officials/representative
27.Participation in Meetings of Village Panchayat/Gram Sabha
28.Participation in Political Organisation/ SHG
29.Participation in Decision Making
Identification of strengths, weaknesses and suggested measures
Kindly identify the main weaknesses of the scheme felt by you and also suggest few measures to improve the implementation of the scheme especially related with women.
Strength
……………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………….
Weaknesses
……………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………….
Suggestions
……………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………….
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