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Devaluation of female work participation with urbanization: a case of peri-urban Ahmedabad


Urban expansion of the Indian metropolitan cities has reached the rural peripheries. There have been social, economic, and environmental consequences of this process of peri-urbanization on villages surrounding the big cities. In such situations, it becomes crucial to understand whether the peri-urban areas present opportunities for women emerging out of the processes of development or they expose rural women to previously unavailable challenges or not observed in other regions. This study analyses Female Work Participation (FWP) with related parameters in 712 villages surrounding the Ahmedabad city of Gujarat state. The analysis is based on village-level secondary data derived from the Office of the Registrar General, Census of India for 2001 and 2011. FWP is calculated using the standard formula provided by the Census of India. For the graphical presentation and urban proximity analysis, a geospatial mapping of all villages is performed with the help of Geographic Information System. To understand the association of urban proximity and other covariates with FWP, Ordinary Least Square regression is applied for 2001 and 2011. FWP reached 23 percent in 2011 from 38 percent in 2001. FWP has an inverse relationship with urban proximity, which means as the distance from the main city increases, there is an increase in FWP of villages. More than 40 percent of women are still working as marginal workers. Moreover, within the main worker category, a huge proportion of female is engaged as agricultural laborers. The findings suggest a pressing need for women-centric policies in the region.

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Senior Research Fellowship from University Grant Commission, Government of India.

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Correspondence to Ankit Sikarwar.

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Sikarwar, A., Chattopadhyay, A., Jaiswal, A.K. et al. Devaluation of female work participation with urbanization: a case of peri-urban Ahmedabad. GeoJournal 87, 319–331 (2022).

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  • Female work participation
  • Peri-urbanization
  • Ahmedabad
  • India