New Delhi: Increasing participation of women in the work force, especially in the government’s flagship rural employment guarantee scheme NREGS, has reflected positively on the development of children, a new study shows.
Using panel data collected in Andhra Pradesh, the study by NGO Young Lives finds that greater participation of mothers in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) projects have a positive effect on their children’s time in school.
“We find that the effect is largely on children in the poorest wealth group, and for girls in the household,” the study said.
Over the school year of 200 days, this implies 11.6 more days of school.
The results suggest that grade attainment of children, particularly of those from poorer households and girls, improves due to mothers’ NREGS participation, implying that more time in school translates into better educational attainment, the study shows.
“We find evidence which suggests that the positive impact of mothers’ increased programme participation could be due to their improves position in household decision making,” it added.
“How children experience poverty is critical to bear in mind when designing social policies,” said Renu Singh, country director of Young Lives.
Uma Vennam, leader of the team that carried out the study, said: “There is a need to listen to these unheard voices and tune the policies so that the dreams of these children are fulfilled.”
The NREGS covers all 22 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The study shows that an increase of one percentage point in mother’s working for NREGS leads to an increase of 0.058 hours a day in time spent in school.