Housing, Spatial-Mobility and Paid Domestic Work in Millennial Delhi: Narratives of Women Domestic Workers

Part of the Exploring Urban Change in South Asia book series (EUCS)


This chapter constructs a gendered account of the city of Delhi through an exploration of women domestic workers’ experience of spatial-mobility in relation to work and the inherent vulnerabilities of class and gender therein. While the narratives of ‘mobility’ highlight the gendered experience of the city, the issue of ‘housing’ allows us to ground these narratives in the politics of class that characterize the millennial city. Such an exploration of housing and mobility, through the lens of gender and class, offers a perspective on how the two constitute domestic work relations in contemporary Delhi.


Domestic work Delhi Gender and livelihood Urban-housing Spatial-mobility 



This chapter draws upon the findings of my dissertation, which was submitted to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi in partial fulfilment of the Master’s degree in development studies. I am thankful to Sumangala Damodaran, my dissertation supervisor, for her valuable guidance. I am extremely grateful to Chaitali Halder and Heerawati from Jagori and Maxima Ekka from Domestic Workers’ Forum (DWF) for their generous and extensive support in the fieldwork with women domestic workers. Different versions of this chapter have been presented at different conferences and seminars during the past one year. Some of them include: the Gender, Race and Sexuality Seminar at the European University Institute, Florence (October, 2014); Urban South Asia, 1850—present at the University of Oxford (October, 2014); European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS), Zurich (July 2014), and; 53rd CPR-CSH Urban Workshop Series (June 2014), Delhi. The feedback and thoughts from the participants in these aforementioned forums have enriched the chapter immensely. The chapter has particularly benefitted from the comments of Ben Mendelkern, Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Rohit Negi, Partha Mukhapadhyay, Henrike Donner, Margot Bol, Kathryn Dominique, Eesha Kunduri, Shahana Sheikh, Subhadra Banda and two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Policy Research (CPR)New DelhiIndia

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