Skip to main content

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


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

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Ashis, Ray, and Salil Mukherjee. 2013. Employment Growth in India at desegregated level. Paper presented in the National Seminar on the results of NSS 66th round survey 20–21 June 2013 Bengaluru, A booklet published by Daskar Andhra 2010 A journey into Handloom weaving.

  • Annual Report. 2009–2010. Govt. of West Bengal. Directorate of textiles, (Handlooms, spinning mills, silk weaving and handloom based handicrafts division).

  • Beena, George, Natasha Choudhary, and Ashutosh Tripathy. 2009. (ESAF) Phaeba Abraham (HB) Women’s Economic Contribution through their Unpaid Work: The Case of India, Evangelical Social Action Forum and Health Bridge Nagpur.

  • Central Statistical Organization (CSO). 2000. Report of the Time Use Survey. New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jain, Devaki. 2007. The value of time use studies in gendering policy and programme. Presented at the international seminar on mainstreaming time use survey in the national statistical system in India.

  • Jain, Devaki., and Malini Chand. 1982, Report on a time allocation study—its methodological implications. In Technical seminar on Women’s Work and Employment. Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi.

  • Handloom Census of India. 2009–2010. Ministry of Textile GOI.

  • Indrani, Mazumdar, and Neetha, N. 2011. Gender dimensions: employment trends in India, 1993–1994 to 2009–2010 Occasional Paper No. 56 Centre for Women’s Development Studies 25, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, New Delhi 110001.

  • Indrani, Mazumdar Neetha, N. Gender dimensions: Employment trends in India, 1993–1994 to 2009–2010 Occasional Paper No. 56.

  • Indira, Hirway. 2007. Time spent on paid work in India: Issues emerging from measuring paid work using time use statistics. Paper prepared for IATUR Conference 2007 Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad, India.

  • Mazumdar, Indrani. 2008. Women’s unpaid labour in Neo-Liberal India. Indian Historical Review 35: 77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miranda, V. 2011. Cooking, caring and volunteering: Unpaid work around the world. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 116, OECD Publishing.

  • Narasimha Reddy D. 2010. Women handloom weavers: Facing the brunt. In Gender and trade policy.

  • Olsen, Wendy, and Smita, Mehta. 2006. A Pluralist account of Labour Participation in India. GPRG Working Paper series-042, Global Poverty Research Group, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford, Oxford.

  • On Work Without Pay. Retrieved from file:///I:/unpaid%20worker/On%20work%20without%20pay.pdf 2013.

  • Soumen, Mapdar. 2012. A study on the handloom textiles clusters in India with special reference to select clusters in West Bengal. Retrieve from

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sonali Chakraborty.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chakraborty, S. Contribution of the Unpaid Family Labour in the Handloom Sector of Textile Industry in West Bengal. Ind. J. Labour Econ. 62, 693–713 (2019).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Unpaid family labour
  • Weaver
  • Allied works