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Mobility as capability: Women in the Indian informal economy

Thursday, November 12, 2020   18:30 - 19:30

  • Nikhila Menon (Economist)
  • Stephanie Barrientos (Professor, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester)


Dr. Nikhila Menon will discuss her new book Mobility as Capability: Women in the Indian Informal Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Her research contests and deconstructs the development discourse which considers women’s work mobility as an indicator of autonomy and agency using capability approach. It highlights accounts of women workers in self-employment and in export oriented production systems to capture the domains of gendered mobility.

The concept of ‘transformational mobility’ and its measurement introduced in the book advances the understanding of mobility, autonomy, and agency, and the intersectionality in the context of gender and work. Through an in-depth exploration of lived experiences the author illustrates how patriarchal structures are shaped and reinforced by workplaces, markets, and the state. The central question is: can we steer development policies to facilitate collective capabilities for women where informal work arrangements are becoming the norm?

Webinar Access

“Mobility as capability: Women in the Indian informal economy”

Please click the following link to join:


Meeting ID: 965 6368 0887 | Passcode: 826205

  Thursday 12 November 2020
18:30 Japan | 09:30 London | 15:00 India

Date & Time:
Thursday, November 12, 2020   18:30 - 19:30 (Doors open at 18:00)
Robert Dujarric (ICAS Director)
Registration is encouraged (e-mail to icas@tuj.temple.edu), but not required. 登録なしでも参加できますので、直接会場へお越しください。

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Nikhila Menon


Dr. Nikhila Menon is the author of ‘Mobility as Capability- Women in the Indian Informal Economy’. Nikhila was a career bureaucrat with the Indian Economic Service of Government of India. She has served in various capacities in the key economic and social policy divisions of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. She held the position as Director, Ministry of Finance until 2019. At present, she is an independent economist based in Yokohama, Japan.

Nikhila’s areas of research interests and expertise are gender analysis, labour market policy, human development, institutional economics and development studies. She has also worked with the leading research institutions and industrial chambers in India. She was the recipient of the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Award. She has a Doctoral degree from the University of Manchester in Development Policy and Management.


Stephanie Barrientos

Professor, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester

Stephanie Barrientos teaches in the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester. Stephanie, an expert on gender and global value chains, is the author of the book ‘Gender and work in Global Value Chains: Capturing the Gains’, (CUP, 2020). She is Research Lead on the FCDO/DFID Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) programme. Stephanie was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (2000-7).

She has researched and published widely on gender, global production, employment, decent work, trade and labour standards, corporate social responsibility, fair trade, and ethical trade. She has researched in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the UK.

Stephanie has advised and provided training for a number of companies, NGOs and international organisations on issues concerning gender, agribusiness, ethical trade and decent work, including: ActionAid, Body Shop, Cadbury Plc, CAFOD, Christian Aid, DEFRA, DFID, Green & Blacks, CAFOD, ILO, Oxfam, Nike, UNCTAD, UNIDO, World Bank, WIEGO, Women Working Worldwide and Unite. She is on the Advisory Groups of the ILO/IFC Better Work Programme.