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Contribution to Book
Women on Wheels in New Delhi, India: Can Social Innovation Promote Gender Equality?
Social Economy in Asia: Realities and Perspectives (2021)
  • Bipasha Baruah, Western University
The development sector’s engagement with gender equality has evolved considerably over the past 40 years.  In addition to education and labour force participation, today many more actors in development engage with politically sensitive issues (property rights and the gendered division of intra-household labour, for example) that they had previously been hesitant or unwilling to address. Such progressive shifts have paradoxically occurred alongside regressive changes that construct gender equality not as a complex structural issue but rather as a technical-rational topic that can be addressed through a bureaucratic approach to development management and practice. The major objective of this article is to urge the constellation of actors that make up the contemporary development sector - international aid organizations, development banks, national and foreign governments, local and transnational NGOs, private sector firms, social enterprises and charitable foundations - to consider that quantity is not always more important than quality. The depth of the impact upon people’s lives must also be considered critical factors for addressing gender inequality. These arguments are based upon empirical research conducted in India with an initiative called Women on Wheels (WOW) that trains and employs disadvantaged urban women as chauffeurs and taxi drivers in the capital city, New Delhi.
  • women,
  • gender equality,
  • development,
  • taxi drivers,
  • non-traditional occupations,
  • social innovation,
  • India,
  • South Asia
Publication Date
Citation Information
Bipasha Baruah. "Women on Wheels in New Delhi, India: Can Social Innovation Promote Gender Equality?" Social Economy in Asia: Realities and Perspectives (2021)
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