Does Time Matter? –A Study of Participation of Women in Urban Governance

Main Article Content

Riya Banerjee


Time is an important aspect of present day life. Everyone
tries to manage time in their daily lives, but women often face many hurdles in this respect. They work in their homes as well as in the public sphere, which doubles their actual workload. Their responsibilities increase further when women are engaged in the field of governance as local representatives. The work of a local
representative is considered as a 24×7 thankless job in the Indian context, and women councillors(WCs) have to work just as hard as the men. However, in the domestic sphere, because of gendered nature of household chores, women still tend to do more work than men. Due to this reason, women have to manage their time in order to provide better services to the citizens and ensure that their household duties are completed flawlessly. This paper raises the issues related to such management of time by the elected women in the urban governance of West Bengal. The issues are: first, the duration of work as a councillor and its relation with the honorarium they receive; second, the extent to which their household work hinders their path to creating their
identity in urban governance; and third, the degree to which these two activities influence the quality of their leisure time. In 1995, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) developed a methodology to analyse the value of time based on the time-use activities. This research underpins this methodology to justify the unpaid and underpaid work of the WCs as well as their management of time between indoor and outdoor activities. The primary data was collected by conducting individual interviews with 38 women councillors in the four selected small cities(Darjeeling, Balurghat, Raniganj and Chinsurah) of West Bengal.


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Banerjee, R. (2017). Does Time Matter? –A Study of Participation of Women in Urban Governance. Space and Culture, India, 4(3), 62-76.
Author Biography

Riya Banerjee, The University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Received 2016-12-26
Accepted 2017-02-22
Published 2017-03-31


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