A pressing current concern in India is how the benefits of its high economic growth may be distributed equitably, leading to poverty alleviation, a reduction in inequalities between different groups in society and an increased economic participation resulting in further economic growth. However, it has become increasingly clear that India has experienced various difficulties in linking economic growth to these desirable outcomes and risks a significant stalling in economic development if these issues are not addressed.
Key issue amongst these is the economic and social status of women in Indian society which affects their human capital development and participation in the labour market, particularly the formal labour market (Afridi et al., 2018; Klasen, 2017). Discussion has centred on the existing evidence of less economic opportunities for women, and increasing income of male members of households. However, the relevance of school to marriage or to work transition and how it is affected by cultural norms has not been given much attention in the discussion.
The proposed research will use existing quantitative and qualitative data from various sources including data collected by an NGO, Child Rights & You (CRY), to examine how local level crime rates affect child marriage, school dropout and employment participation of women in India.
The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has funded the Institute for Employment Research (IER) at the University of Warwick, working in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and Child Rights and You (CRY) to investigate the barriers faced by girls and young women in continuing education and finding fulfilling employment. We are particularly trying to understand how crime and fears about safety affect child marriage and discontinuation of education, what can be done to help young women, their families and communities address these issues.
For this purpose we have been running focus group discussions with adolescence boys and girls from several schools in India to get their views on this issue. We disseminate the findings of our research study to the adolescence through this comic flip book created by CRY.
Project Team at IER, University of Warwick:
Sudipa Sarkar (Principal Investigator)
Academic partner in India
Nov 2019 - October 2021