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Abstract: This paper examines the nature of women’s labor in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, two states in South India. I will argue that both states have achieved strong welfare outcomes for women through the process of asserting a sub-national identity. The differences between them lie in their unique cultures and histories, but additionally in the fact that Tamil Nadu has twice the rate of women participating in the formal labor market as Kerala does. The reasons for this difference are traced in this paper and then contextualized in terms of various intrahousehold bargaining approaches. Ultimately, we turn towards Sen’s theory of development as freedom in order to understand how we can best interpret and improve women’s welfare in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
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Mishra, Jesse, "Mother India Rolls Up Her Sleeves: Women's Labor and Intrahousehold Bargaining Power in Kerala and Tamil Nadu" (2016). Senior Projects Fall 2016. 50.
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