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Domestic Days: Women, Work and Politics in Contemporary Kolkata

Samita Sen (Author) Nilanjana Sengupta (Author)

An increasing number of poor women in urban India work as maids in middle-class households. However, this sector of unorganized labour is characterized by extreme informality. Maids are not accorded their rightful status as workers either by the employers, their own families, the government, or traditional trade unions. Very little research has been done on them, especially the part-time female workers, each of whom services a number of households at a time. Most of these women live in constant fear of eviction from illegal settlements and are rendered voiceless by their social location and lack of education.

Domestic Days transcribes personal narratives of part-time women domestic workers residing in two slum settlements of Kolkata, collating their stories of aspiration, despair, and survival. It straddles these women’s workplaces and homes, etching out the complex interplay of gender and class, and exploring the lives of female domestic labourers in general. The authors also discuss public policy and politics pertaining to this sector as well as the recent attempts to give these women voice and visibility.

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Bibliographic information

Title Domestic Days: Women, Work and Politics in Contemporary Kolkata
Format Hardcover
Date published: 28.05.2016
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199461165