NO SPACE FOR WORK: An action-research project on women, work and violence
NO SPACE FOR WORK (NSFW), a national project spearheaded by Zubaan, a New Delhi-based feminist research and publishing organization, examines the links between violence and the recent patterns of decreasing rates of women’s participation in the formal and informal sectors of the Indian economy. The objective is to gain a better understanding of this trend and to improve women’s access to labour markets.
Low rates have largely been interpreted as a result of cultural attitudes and social norms that discriminate against women in the workplace. However, less is documented regarding how structural violence, workplace violence, and work-related hostility affects individual choice. Women’s rights groups have been drawing attention to the links between violence and women’s exclusion from labour markets, underlining the need to frame such violence as permeating state and civil infrastructure to better understand the devaluing of women and their precarious position in the workplace.
This project aims to address a key research gap by generating evidence on the links between violence and workplace exclusion. Specifically, the project will investigate how violence in the workplace is seen by employers and workers; it will re-examine labour conditions for women workers; and create a network of organizations, individuals and activists to build a critical, feminist voice that looks at barriers and opportunities for women in the world of work.
The project will generate new knowledge through in-depth research into specific sectors, identify structures of violence and pathways to prevent it, and share this knowledge through innovative communications materials. The research will contribute to strengthening policy and civil society networks working to promote women’s economic opportunities. This knowledge will be useful for government stakeholders, private sector industry associations, women’s rights groups, donors, and local philanthropists.