Segmented Labour Market and Gendered Division of Labour

The labour market tends to be divided into several segments. Depending on the social stratification of the society based on income and economic capability as well as on the level of political power of a certain group in the society. In the case of labour market segmentation, several groups within society are fulfilling a particular niche of labour and they have very little or virtually no chance to crossover into other occupations. The wages received by these labour segments are also vastly different.

An example would be street cleaners in India, which was done traditionally by the Untouchables caste. By virtue of their political and economic powerlessness, the Untouchables could barely transfer into another labour segment and improve their lot. The gendered division of labour is an example of segmented labour market. Under the gendered division of labour, men tend to receive better wages than women even for roughly the same work. In addition to this, men also tend to get the higher positions compared to women. A number of reasons may be put forwarded as explanation for this.

For one, women, traditionally were considered as second class citizens. They were counted on to do the house chores. As such, they were not expected to go to school and learn the skills that men were learning. As a result, men have dominance in the business sector and other areas of business. With women becoming more educated nowadays, men still have the dominant role in most businesses. This resulted to certain tasks and jobs being rewarded to men and less to women, thus giving rise to gendered division of labour.