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The Situation in Contractual Work at Domestic Sphere: A Study of the Paid Female Domestic Workers of Howrah, West Bengal, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Dept. of Anthropology, University of Calcutta. West Bengal. INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 3, Issue (7), Pages 36-42, July,14 (2014)


The present study is on the Hindu Bengali speaking women who were mainly from Schedule Caste and Other Backward Class group, work in the informal sector as a domestic worker (maids) locally termed as Thiker (contractual) jhi (lady) / Kajer (worker) masi (aunty) at the urban areas of Howrah district of West Bengal. They perform the household tasks, mainly washing of utensils and clothes, sweeping and cleaning house along with other run errand as well as few outdoor tasks like irregular grocery shopping etc. The research has tried to explore the present situation of the domestic workers from the narratives of the self of the householders and of the domestic workers themselves. Participants were selected by using snowball technique. Total hundred respondents of domestic workers and fifty householders were interviewed. The defense statements of the employers were collected to understand the existing situation. Study explored the violence faced by the domestic worker at their workplace consciously or unconsciously due to the underlined concept of unclean occupation and the exploitations due to their poor economic and educational condition.


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