Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Economics: Informal Sector: South Asia
(1,289 words)

In South Asian Muslim societies, the majority of women do not engage in paid employment in the formal sector, as it is both customary and a religious duty for males to provide for the family. Illiteracy, low levels of education, cultural norms, personal choice, differential ownership of land in rural areas, and discriminatory exclusion in urban areas keep those who do work largely in the informal sector. The World Bank (1989) estimates that in Karachi 68.5 percent of women are employed in the in…

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Ghadially, Rehana, “Economics: Informal Sector: South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0234e>
First published online: 2009

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