Articles authored by Leach, Fiona


This article reviews the extent to which the educational system has acknowledged the importance to women of the informal sector of the economy, and the extent to which it has sought to prepare them for employment or self-employment within it. It assesses the record of both formal and non-formal education in providing women with the necessary skills to compete with men for employment, and concludes that both have generally failed to assist women to obtain skilled, well paid, and secure jobs, leaving them in overwhelming numbers in subsistence-level activities in the informal sector.
This article describes an NGO project intended to empower scheduled caste women working in the silk-reeling industry in India through the provision of microfinance. It documents the impact that the project had on their economic and social status over a period of time and highlights the negative consequences of excluding male relatives from playing any meaningful role. It suggests ways in which the project might have been made more male-inclusive while still empowering women.