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Social Reproduction and The Agrarian Question of Women's Labour in India

Using a social reproduction framework, this article explores how reproduction of rural working class households is rearticulated to capitalist production in India. Our analysis of the conditions in India reveals that the interaction of three institutions—market, state and household—has imposed the burden of reproduction on women. In turn, women's work is dependent on private and common lands. This link, between the role of women's unpaid labour in reproducing rural households and the fact that this work remains largely dependent on land, constitutes a failure of the Indian economy to provide decent livelihoods. It also reasserts gender equity as a contemporary and unresolved question in the midst of India's agrarian transition and underscores the importance of instituting agrarian reforms and state intervention at levels sufficient for social reproduction.

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