Enhancing choices through collective capability: A study of invisible home-based cashew processors in Kerala, India

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Community Development Journal (2016)




<p>This article is an attempt to understand the heterogeneous nature of home-based cashew workers in Kerala. The article uses narrative approach to illustrate the lived experiences of the home-based workers. The evidence from the field study in <span data-scayt_word="Kollam" data-scaytid="1">Kollam</span> district reveals that the majority of the workers engaged in the home-based processing, voluntarily or involuntarily, are women. The home-based processing is considered as an additional option to earn income by these workers. As a result, despite the ban on cottage processing of cashew, it is operating in a clandestine manner. The study shows that the enhancement of individual and collective capabilities of the women in the informal sector requires an understanding of their multiple identities, as well as an acknowledgement of the existing gender relations and social structure.</p>