This study examined how employment and attachment to the urban place brought changes in personal as well as others in the family domain of life including their ability to manage basic needs, children’s care and education of female domestic workers of Kolkata about their socio-economic status, educational background, income pattern and changing dynamics as determinants of their development. The study showed that firstly it influenced significantly in their personal life and secondly, they were participating in their public domain of life through political rights, women’s agencies and community development. But patriarchal based gender practice and social security measures at post retirement life were neglected and it was their prime hindrance to achieve equity and justice. The ‘secular
education’ and orientation for social security measures would be introduced rapidly to ensure their happiness at post retirement.
Women’s development is a broad perspective where social and economic opportunity plays the central role. It facilitates freedom of choice in daily life of an individual (Sen, 1999:32). It might be compared globally with the role of basic education in social transformations and it emphasizes the importance of women’s agency in bringing major changes is another central area to be measured. Women’s independent income from paid sources and their education could enhance their social status in their family as well as society. The meaningful employment of women is significant for her development and well-being (Dreze and Sen, 2002: 67-68). Historically, it has been seen that women use to perform most of valuable labour throughout the globe whether it is bearing and caring of children, domestic activities marketing of foods and working in shops to factories and offices. Bringing up family and work -two jobs would be considered utterly opposed and mutually destructive. No one asks these women about their feelings of conflict,their problems with child care, the luxury of caring for a baby whose mother chooses to work outside the home. “War against the poor”- The public and the private spheres are still in disjunction. Due to labour demands of global economy, working class women continue to be demonized for both poverty and their employment (Rich, 1996: 13). It reminds us that Factories Act did not end capitalism, but they changed the relations of the workers to their own lives.
The relations between production and reproduction has been differentiated the activities performed by both genders (male and female) in a family as well as society. But the property rights to women and the emergence of marriage
institution transform the status of women as men’s property. It is the historic defeat of the female sex and the emergence of patriarchy. The female lives are trapped within the realm of reproduction. From that time, female folk was considered as “the second sex” and their identity is associated as counterpart of male counterpart, nay they have little or no self-identity. Thus, the gendering andgender practices were the causes of violence against them in manifolds. It was (the) prime cause of darkness of each society because women are the key change agent
of every society which was realized by the American society. Social reforms and women’s development initiatives have brought subsequent changes in their daily affairs. So, the development of the nation is determined by the development of women in particular country. So, according to Engles (1948), the emancipation of women and their equality would be possible when they would take part in production on large social scale, and domestic duties would be a minor (Engles,1948). To add to it, structural transformation towards equality is not a structural adjustment to intensify inequality (Mazumdar, 2007: 46).To cure depressed economy in a country like India, globalization was welcome through rapid urbanization and industrialization which are the ‘ingredients of economic, social and political development processes spurred by a relatively resilient monetary economy, a shift from agricultural to nonagricultural employment, including that in industrial enterprises and services, the spread of social amenities, and drastic changes in socio-cultural systems which have transformed urban environments’ (United Nations, 1969). Thus, urbanization and economic development are co-factor of development in the developing countries (Lampard, 1955: 72), and it guides towards a socially desirable pattern of economic transformation (Jones, 1972: 132-35).
The explosion of middle classes in Indian society is a significant one because not only material civilization nay consumerism is traded new commodities in new markets where money is the marker of social status. Emergence of new class relation in the division of labour is an important impact of consumerism and materialism (Hoselitz, 1969: 73-75). To add to add it, a middle class life style is the resilience on domestic help in different forms i.e. the maid, the cook or a lesser extent, and the driver, etc and dependence on domestic help is a distinct feature of middle class (Mahapatra, 2009:85).
It generally creates a labour market to serve the middle classes in urban areas. So, it facilitates rural migration significantly (Lipton, 1977: 29). In the third world cities it has been seen that there are various economic activities in urban areas. It builds up an urban-rural interdependence relationship. This circumstance creates a scope of human development through emergence of various services sector in urban area. It obviously increases the rate migration as well as mobility of people from rural to urban area. And women’s mobility in searching of job in urban area is an important area because it increases social and economic exchanges between rural and urban area. Changes in life styles and life choices i.e. pattern of relationship and interaction, food habits and so forth are the result of this transformation. This study attempted to evaluate various development aspects of female workers for domestic helps in urban area. By the way, it was also observed-was their future life safe and secure? Had their involvement in employment brought any changes in their life so far as women’s development for equity and justice was concerned? Was it a new platform for their harassment or the new way of deprivation of female in the society?