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Gendered risks, poverty and vulnerability in India

Research report

Written by Rebecca Holmes

Research report

This case study was undertaken as part of a research project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) (2008-2010) and the Australian Government, (AusAID, under the Australian Development Research Awards 2008) (2008-2011), looking at gender and social protection effectiveness in Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

This case study looks specifically at India, where poverty is highly concentrated in rural areas. The poor largely rely on daily wage labour, and many are landless. An overall decline in agriculture is of particular concern given the sheer number of people - more than half of the population - dependent on the sector for their livelihoods. The government of India has taken an 'inclusive growth' approach to poverty reduction, with one of the main flagship programmes being the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) - a public works programme reaching up to 45 million households, aimed at supporting a transformation in rural livelihoods and agricultural productivity in India through public works.  

This report specifically examines the gendered dimensions and impacts of the Indian public works programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Rebecca Holmes; Nidhi Sadana; Saswatee Rath