Women's work and household income: evidence from Bangkok's urban fringe

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Virginia Tech


This research asks whether the patterns of women's economic contribution and marginalization that previously have been identified apply to the emerging metropolitan fringe areas. I argue that women in metropolitan fringe communities are more marginalized than men in terms of type of employment, location of employment, hours of employment, and remuneration. Women contribute different amounts and proportions of time and income to the family than men and their contributions, productive and reproductive, significantly add to the household resources and are necessary for household survival. The research identifies women's economic contributions to the household and how they vary by household type and composition. This study uses data collected by Browder et al (1992) from a sample of families in Bangkok's metropolitan fringe to explore employment patterns and gender roles. Results show that women and men have different employment patterns~ with women much more likely to be involved with informal, self-employed work. Women make significant contributions to household incomes, but they do so while being economically marginalized. Even in a lower-middle to middle class area, residents--particularly women--rely on informal sector employment. An important conclusion, which was overlooked in a previous analysis, is that self employment is crucial to women's work patterns. Finally, all women significantly contribute to household income; unlike non-head males, non-head and non-spouse females contribute as much as female heads and spouses.



Thailand, economic marginalization