India's vocational education and training programs : is women's participation improving household incomes?
Plowman, Tiffany Danielle.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. India is currently pursuing major improvements to its vocational education and training (VET) programs. Studies have shown varied evidence that vocational training leads to improved labor market outcomes, both in developed and developing countries. However, studies indicate that an increase in women's participation in the labor market can improve household incomes while also empowering women and improving their livelihoods. This thesis expands on research done by the World Bank and the Government of India to determine if VET programs can be effective in addressing poverty by improving women's participation in the labor market, particularly as women have been under-represented due to social and cultural norms. However, this research found that vocational training for women and household income were not related while education, employment status and social class were important factors to household income. Despite the fact that vocational training is unrelated to household income, improving it can have positive employment effects. Moreover, the results suggest that human capital investments in education and limiting discrimination as a result of the caste system were likely to improve household incomes in India. For policy, this means continued investments in education across all levels and enforcement of affirmative action policies to address the apparent cultural divide between classes. However, ultimately empowering women and integrating them into the workforce may take a more holistic policy approach to address education, discrimination and regional issues.
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