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Abstract

The present paper examines the household economies of male industrial workers of India after their sudden retrenchment. They had been victims of a defective industrial policy, and they did not get compensation as per the recruitment policy of the Government of India. As they were ill-prepared for retrenchment, they have struggled over extended periods. In a desperate attempt at household survival, their wives chose the sex trade. These women used a brothel in Kolkata to ply the sex trade as floating sex workers. They operated in a clandestine manner as the brothel was restricted to daytime use. They used their earnings to manage their households while their husbands were still unemployed. Thus, in an era of women’s empowerment, women appeared to have no employment alternatives during crisis periods. As a result, the relationship between women and household management during a household’s economic crisis has emerged as a new theme in the discourse on future socio-economic relations and the status of women.

Note on the Author

Harasankar Adhikari, Social Worker and Independent Scholar, Monihar Co-operative Housing Society, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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