Das, Maitreyi Bordia

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Demography, Social Protection, Social Development, Human Development, Social Inclusion, Safety Nets, Equity, Labor Markets, Urban Development
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Last updated April 3, 2023
Maitreyi Bordia Das is the Director for Trust Funds and Partner Relations in the Development Finance Vice Presidency of the World Bank. Based in Washington DC, she leads the furtherance of the World Bank’s trust fund reform, implementation of the Bank’s policy framework for financial intermediary funds (FIFs) and supports the ongoing World Bank Group Evolution process. Maitreyi is a leading voice to sustainable development, equity and inclusion, with a career that spans government, academia, the UN system and the World Bank. At the Bank, Maitreyi has held several advisory and managerial positions and led numerous research, policy and programmatic initiatives across urban development, resilience, water security, health, social protection and social development. She was the World Bank’s first Global Lead for Social Inclusion, is a speaker at various public forums and has an extensive publications record. In her last position as Manager in the Global Practice on Urban, Resilience and Land, she oversaw and expanded a wide range of trust funded global programs and partnerships. Having started her career as a lecturer in St Stephen's College, University of Delhi, Maitreyi has also been a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Center of Population and Development Studies and an advisor to the United Nations Development Program in Guyana. She has a PhD in Sociology (Demography) from the University of Maryland. Before joining the World Bank, Maitreyi was in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Changing Norms about Gender Inequality in Education : Evidence from Bangladesh
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-11) Blunch, Niels-Hugo ; Das, Maitreyi Bordia
    Using a recent household survey for two cohorts of married women, this paper examines norms about gender equality in education for children and adults. Among the main findings are that gender education gap norms have changed: younger generations of women are more positive about female vs. male education, both as pertaining to child and adult education outcomes. Perhaps the strongest result is that Bangladeshi women are more likely to espouse attitudes of gender equality in education for their children and less so about gender equality among spouses. It is also easier to explain norms regarding children's education and more difficult to explain norms about equality in marriages. The authors believe that question on relative education of boys and girls captures the value of education per se, while the question on educational equality in marriage captures the norms regarding marriage and the relative worth of husbands and wives. The effect of education in determining norms is significant though complex, and spans own and spousal education, as well as that of older females in the household. This indicates sharing of education norms effects or externalities arising from spousal education in the production of gender education gap norms within marriage as well as arising from the presence of older educated females in the household. Lastly, the authors also find associations between gender education gap norms and household poverty, information processing and religion, though the evidence here is more mixed.
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    Exclusion and Discrimination in the Labor Market
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Das, Maitreyi Bordia
    The frameworks developed in this paper are based on a review of the literature on processes of discrimination and the norms and attitudes that accompany them. Intended as a background paper to the World Development Report 2013 this paper will also feed into the Social Inclusion Flagship Report by the Social Development Department at the World Bank. It is divided into six sections. This section one is an introduction to the objectives and provides the context for this work. Section two is a brief discussion of the conceptual underpinnings and measurement of labor market discrimination from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Section three lays out a typology of processes of discrimination, while section four is a discussion of the mechanisms of discrimination and the ways in which candidates are screened. Section five addresses the question of how discriminated groups react to discrimination. The final section addresses some of the ways in which occupational and labor market mobility is possible for disadvantaged groups and what policy implications it could have.
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    All in My Head?: The Play of Exclusion and Discrimination in the Labor Market
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Das, Maitreyi Bordia
    Labor market discrimination is very difficult to pinpoint, even more difficult to measure and almost impossible to “prove”. It has been studied in many disciplines of which economics and sociology are prime. The latter has focused more on the manner in which discrimination plays out and how it is related to different forms of social stratification. This paper reviews the literature and makes two main contributions: first, it builds a four-fold typology to think about discrimination—overt or covert; conscious or unconscious; legal or illegal and real or perceived. Second, it identifies screens and filters—devices through which discrimination plays out in the labor market. Unless more empirical studies identify the play of discrimination and exclusion, subordinate groups may well be told that discrimination is actually in their heads—that they are imagining it.
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    Poverty and Social Exclusion in India: Women
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012) Das, Maitreyi Bordia ; Mehta, Soumya Kapoor
    This brief describes the poverty and social exclusion of Women in India. The last few decades have seen remarkable progress in the status of women and girls, yet the cultural roots of gender inequality are still strong and affect a range of outcomes. The high salaries and independent lifestyles of women in urban India have captured public imagination. Yet progress has been very uneven and slower than would have been expected based on India’s levels of per capita income. Females still have an overall survival deficit in childhood and during their reproductive years and are severely disadvantaged in the labor market. Inequalities in wages are a disincentive for women to work, but they clearly want work!. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is an example of a program that explicitly seeks to provide paid work to poor women. The scheme mandates that at least one-third of workers should be women and makes several provisions to enhance the participation of women. Threats to women’s security also influence the ability of women to access markets and services and claim spaces for themselves. This is an area in which policy can have a huge effect. Making public spaces safe for women is a major step forward in enhancing women’s access to these spaces.
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    Framing Local Conflict and Justice in Bangladesh
    ( 2011-08-01) Das, Maitreyi Bordia ; Maru, Vivek
    The institutional landscape of local dispute resolution in Bangladesh is rich: it includes the traditional process of shalish, longstanding and impressive civil society efforts to improve on shalish, and a somewhat less-explored provision for gram adalat or village courts. Based on a nationally representative survey, qualitative evidence from focus groups, and a telephone survey of 40 Union Parishad chairpersons (a little less than 1 percent of the total Union Parishads), it provides both an empirical mapping of local conflict and justice and pointers to possible policy reforms. It suggests a number of opportunities for strengthening local justice and argues that the village courts may pose a useful bridge between Bangladesh's informal and formal justice institutions.
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    Does Culture Matter or Firm? Demand for Female Labor in Three Indian Cities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) Das, Maitreyi Bordia ; Mehta, Soumya Kapoor ; Zumbyte, Ieva ; Sasmal, Sanjeev ; Goyal, Sangeeta
    In discussing the inordinately low employment of Indian women in urban areas, several studies have argued that culture and attitudes have created a labor market that is inherently discriminatory. The unsaid corollary is that culture is slow and hard to change and so, women will stay out of the labor market until social change occurs. The empirical evidence on the role of culture is slim at best. This paper fills the void in the policy literature, as it assesses the relative role of culture, as signified by attitudes of employers, and firm characteristics in hiring women. The paper is based on a unique survey of 618 firms in three of the largest cities in the state of Madhya Pradesh (India)—Bhopal, Indore, and Gwalior. Using detailed descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analysis at the firm level, the hiring process, and attitudes toward male and female workers, the paper addresses the issue of culture and firm characteristics, while noting that the two are not necessarily in binary opposition. The results reinforce the conventional wisdom in some ways and are surprising in others. The most salient result is that employer attitudes matter much less for the chance that women will be hired, than do firm and location characteristics. This has significant policy implications, the most important of which is that female employment in urban India is amenable to policy intervention, and that it is not necessary to wait for culture to change.
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    The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and Gender
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08-24) Das, Maitreyi Bordia ; Hatzfeldt, Gaia
    The report reviews a vast body of literature to present a "thinking device" that visualizes water as an asset, a service, and a "space." It shows water as an arena where gender relations play out in ways that often mirror inequalities between the sexes. And it examines norms and practices related to water that often exacerbate ingrained gender and other hierarchies. Informal institutions, taboos, rituals, and norms all play a part in maintaining these hierarchies and can even reinforce gender inequality. The report's key message is clear—interventions in water-related domains are important in and of themselves and for enhancing gender equality more broadly. The report discusses examples of initiatives that have had intended and unintended consequences for gender equality, and makes the important point that gender inequality does not always show up where we might expect.
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    The Motherhood Penalty and Female Employment in Urban India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-03) Das, Maitreyi Bordia ; Zumbyte, Ieva
    Since the 1990s, India has seen robust economic growth, rising wages, steady fertility decline, increased urbanization, and expanded educational attainment for males and females. But unlike other countries that have undergone similar transitions, urban women's employment has refused to budge, never crossing the 25 percent mark. This paper fills a critical gap in policy research on women's employment in India. The discussion is situated in the normative construction of motherhood and the gendered nature of caregiving in India. The analysis uses pooled data from six rounds of the National Sample Surveys to examine the effects of having a young child on mothers' employment in urban India over 1983-2011. The analysis also looks at household structure, and analyzes the effects of other household members on women's labor supply. The results show that although the onus of childbearing may have reduced, that of caregiving has increased. Having a young child in the home depresses mothers' employment, an inverse relationship that has intensified over time. Further, living in a household with older children and women over the age of 50 is positively associated with women's employment. These results show that the care of young children is an increasingly important issue in women's employment decisions, in a context where formal childcare is practically nonexistent. These results have significant implications for policy to raise women’s labor force participation in India.