IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Where Are The Women? Gender, Labor, And Discourse In The Noida Export Processing Zone And Delhi


  • Urvashi Soni-Sinha


Export processing zones (EPZs) are like islands of globalization. Much of the literature on EPZs and export-oriented industries (EOIs) notes a preponderance of women who are constructed as “cheap,” “nimble fingered,” and “docile” labor. This literature is dominated by socialist feminist thinkers, and this paper argues that there is a need to incorporate the insights of postmodern feminist thinkers. The article focuses on the role that language, discourse, and subjectivity play in the gendering process in handmade jewelry production in the Noida Export Processing Zone (NEPZ) and in the ranch production units related by common ownership in Delhi, India. It thus gives “voices” to women and men, and brings out their agency in structuring the labor market. The study confirms that gender division of labor is a product of discursive and material practices that are reproduced through discourses into which different actors invest, and that feed into the gendered subjective identities of these actors.

Suggested Citation

  • Urvashi Soni-Sinha, 2006. "Where Are The Women? Gender, Labor, And Discourse In The Noida Export Processing Zone And Delhi," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 335-365.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:3:p:335-365
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700600670442

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Subjectivity; gender division of labor; discourse; export processing; India; JEL Codes: J16; J4; J49;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J49 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Other


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:3:p:335-365. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.