Pio, Edwina and Syed, Jawad (2013) Our bodies, our minds, our men: working South Asian women. Gender in Management: An International Journal, 28 (3). pp. 140-150. ISSN 1754-2413

Purpose – This paper is a guest editorial piece in the Special Issue of the Gender in Management journal on “Gender equality at work in South Asia”. In this paper, the authors aim not only to introduce the papers selected for the Special Issue but also to offer an overview of the current state of female employment, economic activity and gender equality at work in countries in South Asia.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper offers a review of extant literature and macro-economic data on gender equality in employment and management in South Asia.

Findings – Four stories emerge: firstly the pervasive existence of structural and institutional barriers such as patriarchal ideologies reinforced by gender inegalitarian interpretations of holy texts; secondly women's limited access to education and skill development; thirdly lack of non-agricultural employment and economic resources resulting in economic dependence on men and sex-based division of labour; and fourthly the development and joy of agency where there is facilitation and nurturance of women.

Originality/value – This Special Issue is probably the first ever collection of journal articles focused on gender equality at work in the South Asia region.

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