Priyanka, Shruti and Sharad from CBPS attended the 59th Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE) held from 16-18 December 2017 in the premises of Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The Conference was being organised by the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT), Thiruvananthapuram Kerala in collaboration with the Department of Economics, Kerala University and the Center for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.
Priyanka from the CBPS GrOW Team presented a paper titled ‘From Garden to Tea Pot: The Political Economy of Women’s Work in the Tea Plantations of North Bengal’ under the theme of ‘Macro-economic Policies and Employment’. The session was chaired by Prof. D. N. Reddy, Visiting Professor, Institute of Human Development, New Delhi. The discussants for this session were Prof. Kunal Sen from the University of Manchester and Dr. Himanshu from the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Following the general trend in the employment of women in India, it is unfortunate that women tea plantation workers are viewed as being in an unfortunate state needing welfarist solutions rather than measures designed to empower them by providing equal education, opportunities and wages. The government as well as the trade unions operating in the tea belts, time and again, has talked of introducing various welfare schemes in the tea industry, particularly meant for women, rather than thinking of taking pro-active steps to increase their wages and other supportive non-wage entitlements.
A large number of distinguished economists, other social scientists, trade union leaders, representatives from industry and international organizations, policy makers and individuals/organizations from across the country and several from abroad attended the conference.