Engendering Mining Communities: Examining the Missing Gender Concerns in Coal Mining Displacement and Rehabilitation in India

Citation:

Ahmad, N., and K. Lahiri-dutt. 2006. “Engendering Mining Communities: Examining the Missing Gender Concerns in Coal Mining Displacement and Rehabilitation in India.” Gender, Technology and Development 10 (3): 313–39. doi:10.1177/097185240601000302.

Authors: N. Ahmad, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Abstract:

Forced displacement by development projects seriously affects the well-being of communities, revealing mixed and varied outcomes. Although scholars and policymakers have recognized the need for new forms of interventions, gender aspects of displacement and rehabilitation remain mostly unexamined in the empirical literature, which largely assumes that women’s and men’s experiences of displacement and rehabilitation processes are similar. Consequently, rehabilitation policy remains largely gender-blind, insensitive to the differential impacts upon and diverse concerns of women and men affected by development projects. Seeking to fill this knowledge gap, this article brings into focus how the restructuring of state-controlled coal mining in the regions of Jharkhand in Eastern India and the resulting displacement of local communities, including adivasi (indigenous) communities, affect women in gender-specific ways. Displacement from the original habitations often means not only the physical relocation but also the loss of livelihoods derived from the subsistence resources offered by the local environment. For women in these communities, the value of these resources cannot be overstated. This article argues for a refocus of policy debates on displacement and rehabilitation in ways that can engender the meaning of ‘the community’ and offer a gender-specific appreciation of issues regarding resource control and livelihood.

Keywords: development, displacement, rehabilitation, gender-blind, mining

Topics: Development, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

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