Women’s Work in Naga Society

by: U A Shimray

This paper attempts to understand household work, workforce participation, division of labour and women’s position in Naga society with special reference to the Tangkhul Nagas of Manipur state. Using a qualitative approach, the average time spent on housework and agricultural activities by men, women and children and the gendered division of labour are examined. Although Naga society is patriarchal, women enjoy considerable freedom and play an important role in family and community life. Women have a greater range of responsibilities, from domestic work – within and outside the homestead – to various agricultural activities and bear a greater work burden as well. Gender disparity measures reveal that men’s responsibility for household activities is shrinking while women’s work frontier is expanding, as they take over work traditionally designated as ‘male’.

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