Making Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) More Care-Responsive
Chopra, Deepta (Ed.)
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Started as a pilot in 200 of the poorest districts of India in 2006, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a demand-based public works programme which entitles every rural household in India to 100 days of waged employment, per fiscal year. MGNREGA envisages women’s inclusion and empowerment, equal wages at par with men, proximity of residences to worksites, and the provision of facilities such as crèches at worksites. This Programmatic Note examines MGNREGA in the districts of Dungarpur and Udaipur in Rajasthan, in order to understand how women’s economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate a ‘double boon’ - paid work that empowers women and provides more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities. The research highlights inflexible timings in MGNREGA, hard, back breaking tasks, and poor facilities at the worksite. These, taken in combination with the time-consuming and intensive care work that women need to perform in the absence of essential public services, induces high levels of drudgery in women’s lives. The note highlights women’s chronic lack of rest, physical weakness, and mental stress related to multi-tasking and managing their paid and unpaid care work responsibilities. The note makes recommendations based on the research findings on how MGNREGA could immediately take steps to transform women’s and families’ current depleting scenario to an empowering one.
CitationZaidi, M., Chigateri, S. with Chopra, D. (Ed.) (2017) Making Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) more care-responsive, Programmatic Notes. Brighton. IDS.
Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies / The Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST)
SponsorDepartment for International Development (DFID)
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation