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Gendered Power Transformations in India’s Northeast: Peace Politics in Nagaland


Manchanda, Rita, and Seema Kakran. 2017. "Gendered Power Transformations in India’s Northeast: Peace Politics in Nagaland." Cultural Dynamics 29 (1-2): 63-82. 

Authors: Rita Manchanda, Seema Kakran


As the middle space for ‘post ceasefire-cold peace’ politics expanded in Nagaland in India’s Northeast, the Naga women’s question has emerged as symbolic of the intense social churning in traditional hierarchies around three sites of inequality: decision-making in the public sphere, patriarchal customary laws and property rights. The article tracks the shift in Naga women’s peace politics, from motherhood politics to asserting more equal modes of citizenship, and explores the emancipatory potential of Naga women’s emergence in the public sphere as key stakeholders in the peace process within a context of growing tensions in the relationship between gender and ethnicity.

Keywords: customary laws, ethnicity, gender, Naga, peace politics, power

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Post-Conflict, Peace Processes, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2017

Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia


Singh, Shweta. 2017. "Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia." Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 4 (2): 149-57.

Author: Shweta Singh


This article provides an overview to this special issue of JASIA, entitled ‘Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia’. Gender intersects with conflict and security and yet remains at the margins of academic theorizing, policy priority and practitioner perspectives in South Asia. This special issue puts forth fresh insights into how and why the lived experiences of women in South Asia (particularly from areas of protracted conflict such as Nepal, India and Sri Lanka) are different? And how and why these impinge on the global discourse on security? It argues that this analysis is pertinent not just from the standpoint of academic theorizing on security but also from the perspective of international security policy like the United Nations led Women, Peace and Security Agenda. This is the 17th year of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and only Nepal and Afghanistan in South Asia have a National Action Plan. This special issue also critically examines the key gaps in the international policy on Women, Peace and Security Agenda and how it ‘speaks’ or ‘not speaks’ to the contextual reality of South Asia.

Keywords: gender, conflict, security, South Asia, women peace and security, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace and Security, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Year: 2017

Reasoned Choice or Performative Care? Women’s Transformative Peacebuilding Identities in Manipur, India


Riddle, Karie Cross. 2019. “Reasoned Choice or Performative Care? Women’s Transformative Peacebuilding Identities in Manipur, India.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 20 (1): 54–68.

Author: Karie Cross Riddle

Keywords: care ethics, gender, identity, India, agency, performativity


Countering the inevitability of communal violence, Amartya Sen defines identities as the product of individual, reasoned choice. Although he acknowledges that such choices are constrained, I argue that Sen’s position overlooks (1) the relational character of identities which reflect caring responsibility rather than autonomous choice, and (2) the power structures that constrain agents’ choices. Using original ethnographic research conducted with women’s peacebuilding groups in India in 2014 and 2015, I develop a theory of identity as performative and grounded in care. Theorizing first from women’s peacebuilding practices and then adding insights from Sara Ruddick’s care ethics and Judith Butler’s theory of performativity, I demonstrate how relationships and structures circumscribe women’s choices, leading them to transform their relational identities rather than choose them after a process of reasoning. Women peacebuilders take up socially-ascribed responsibility for others, building peace relationally as mothers and conflict-affected widows. Post-structural feminism helps us to guard against essentializing these women’s experiences as natural, instead seeing their work as deeply constrained by gender norms even as their peace work transforms those norms. My understanding of identity as relational and performative thus illuminates new sources for and new constraints upon agency.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Conflict, Economies, Care Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

A Global South State's Challenge to Gendered Global Cultures of Peacekeeping


Pruitt, Lesley J. 2018. "A Global South State’s Challenge to Gendered Global Cultures of Peacekeeping." In Revisiting Gendered States: Feminist Imaginings of the State in International Relations, edited by Swati Parashar, J. Ann Tickner, and Jacqui True, 122-137. New York: Oxford University Press.

Author: Lesley J. Pruitt


This chapter explores the first all-female formed police unit (FFPU) in UN peacekeeping, deployed from India to Liberia. The FFPU has fostered important outcomes supporting the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. However, global norms that presume efforts can only be “legitimate” when conducted in ways that align with particular, Global North approaches can hinder implementation of the WPS agenda. Such norms marginalize differences that intersect with gender and influence participation. Effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the WPS agenda will not occur under assumptions that only some states, or only certain kinds of states, can credibly contribute; instead, a plurality of approaches is needed.

Keywords: peacekeeping, United Nations, policing, women, India, Liberia, WPS

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Liberia

Year: 2018

Gender, Conflict, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325


Shekhawat, Seema, ed. 2018. Gender, Conflict, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Author: Seema Shekhawat


"There is an increasing amount of literature on various aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. While appreciating this scholarship, this volume highlights some of the omissions and concerns to make a quality addition to the ongoing discourse on the intersection of gender with peace and security with a focus on 1325. It aims at a reality-check of the impressive to-dos list as the seventeen years since the Resolution passed provide an occasion to pause and ponder over the gap between the aspirations and the reality, the ideal and the practice, the promises and the action, the euphoria and the despair. The volume compiles carefully selected essays woven around Resolution 1325 to tease out the intricacies within both the Resolution and its implementation. Through a cocktail of well-known and some lesser-known case studies, the volume addresses complicated realities with the intention of impacting policy-making and the academic fields of gender, peace, and security. The volume emphasizes the significance of transforming formal peace making processes, and making them gender inclusive and gender sensitive by critically examining some omissions in the challenges that the Resolution implementation confronts. The major question the volume seeks to address is this: where are women positioned in the formal peace-making seventeen years after the adoption of Resolution 1325?" (Shekhawat 2018)

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Gender, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325
Seema Shekhawat

1. Redefining Women’s Roles in Internationl and Regional Law: The Case of Pre- and Post-War Peacebuilding in Liberia
Veronica Fynn Bruey

2. The Contribution of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325
Antal Berkes

3. Faith Matters in Women, Peace, and Security Practices
Elisabeth Porter

4. Creating or Improving a National Action Plan Based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Jan Marie Fritz

5. Widowhood Issues for Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Subsequent Resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security
Margaret Owen

6. The Commodification of Intervention: The Example of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Corey Barr

7. Beyond Borders and Binaries: A Feminist Look at Preventing Violence and Achieving Peace in an Era of Mass Migration
Aurora E. Bewicke

8. The Disconnection between Theory and Practice: Achieving Item 8b of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
Onyinyechukwu Onyido

9. Gender and Feminism in the Israeli Peace Movement: Beyond UNSCR 1325
Amanda Bennett

10. Conflict Ghosts: The Significance of UN Resolution 1325 for the Syrian Women in Years of Conflict
Emanuela C. Del Re

11. The UNSC Resolution 1325 and Cypriot Women’s Activism: Achievements and Challenges
Maria Hadjipavlou and Olga Demetriou

12. Victims, Nationalists, and Supporters: UNSCR 1325 and the Roles of Ethnic Women’s Organizations in Peacebuilding in Burma/Myanmar
Mollie Pepper

13. Gender and the Building Up of Many “Peaces”: A Decolonial Perspective from Colombia
Priscyll Anctil Avoine, Yuly Andrea Mejia Jerez, and Rachel Tillman

14. “It’s All About Patriarchy”: UNSCR 1325, Cultural Constrains, and Women in Kashmir
Seema Shekhawat

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Gender, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Colombia, Cyprus, India, Israel, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria

Year: 2018

Gender Perspective in Water Management: The Involvement of Women in Participatory Water Institutions of Eastern India


Khandker, Varsha, Vasant P. Gandhi, and Nicky Johnson. 2020. “Gender Perspective in Water Management: The Involvement of Women in Participatory Water Institutions of Eastern India.” Water 12 (1): 196. 

Authors: Varsha Khandker, Vasant P. Gandhi, Nicky Johnson


The paper examines the extent, nature, and factors affecting women’s involvement in participatory irrigation institutions of eastern India. Effective participatory water institutions are urgently needed to improve water management in eastern India, and a significant aspect of this is the involvement of women. There is inadequate representation, participation, and involvement of women in most water institutions. From the participatory and social point of view, this is a significant concern. The relevant data are obtained from the states of Assam and Bihar through a focused survey administered to 109 women in 30 water institutions, and a larger farmer-institutional survey covering 510 households and 51 water institutions. The research examines the extent and nature of the involvement of women in these institutions, as well as in farm decision-making, and the factors that prevent or foster their participation. Additionally, it examines the gender congruence in views regarding water institution activities and their performance, and the perceived benefits of formal involvement of women. The results show that their inclusion is very low (except required inclusion in Bihar), and the concerns of women are usually not being taken into account. Women are involved in farming and water management decisions jointly with men but not independently. Findings indicate that the views of women and men differ on many aspects, and so their inclusion is important. Responses indicate that if women participate formally in water user associations, it would enhance their social and economic standing, achieve greater gender balance, expand their awareness of water management, and contribute to better decision-making in the water institutions.

Keywords: water, women, gender, participatory irrigation institutions, India

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Climate Change, Migration and Women: Analysing Construction Workers in Odisha


Patel, Amrita and Jasmine Giri. 2019. "Climate Change, Migration and Women: Analysing Construction Workers in Odisha." Social Change 49 (1): 97-113.

Authors: Amrita Patel, Jasmine Giri


The research article seeks to focus on the status of women from the coastal districts of Odisha who have become migrants essentially because of repeated floods and extreme climatic events. Fluctuating weather conditions, the consequent depletion of agricultural work and availability of other forms of employment in their place of origin are some reasons behind the migration of these women. The study particularly looks at Bhubaneswar where women, largely illiterate and landless, mostly belonging to Scheduled Caste groups, have been able to find work on construction sites. Despite evident hardship, they have been able to meet the challenges of living in new urban destinations and in the process better their living conditions. This can be seen in the improvement of their financial status, a new-found focus of educating their daughters, the development of levels of self-confidence and the overcoming of some deeply entrenched social barriers. However, in other areas, the marginalisation of such groups continues, and vulnerabilities prevail in many forms, evident, for instance, in the lack of land ownership by women, the absence of opportunities to upgrade skills to access better work opportunities and issues of safety and security of young girls.

Keywords: women, migrants, climate change, construction workers

Topics: Agriculture, Caste, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Climate-induced Migration in South Asia: Migration Decisions and the Gender Dimensions of Adverse Climatic Events


Bhatta, Gopal Datt, Pramod Kumar Aggarwal, Santosh Poudel, and Debbie Anne Belgrave. 2015. "Climate-induced Migration in South Asia: Migration Decisions and the Gender Dimensions of Adverse Climatic Events." Journal of Rural and Community Development 10 (4): 1-23.

Authors: Gopal Datt Bhatta, Pramod Kumar Aggarwol, Santosh Poudel, Debbie Anne Belgrave


There is significant interest in determining the role of climate-induced shocks as a prominent driver on migration decisions of different groups of farmers in South Asia. Using data from a survey of 2,660 farm-families and focused group discussions in Bihar (India), Terai (plains) (Nepal) and coastal Bangladesh, we employed logistic regression to investigate household response towards migration and gender dimensions of adverse climatic events. The results suggest that migration decisions depend on farmers’ unique resource profiles: (a) households that use migration to improve their resilience, mostly resource rich households; (b) households that have no alternative but to migrate, mostly poor farmers; and (c) households who cannot migrate due to different socio-economic obligations, mostly farmers with intermediate level of income that also includes women, children and elderly of different income profiles. These profiles represent a spectrum with households within a profile being closer to one or the other of the profiles on either side. They are not mutually exclusive and serve as a point of departure for further research to refine key explanatory variables. Given that some members of the household pursue migration as a result of adverse climatic events, government strategies are required to mitigate risks at destinations and create opportunities for the trapped populations.

Keywords: distress migration, climatic risks, extreme events, rainfall variability, gender dimensions, South Asia

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal

Year: 2015

Gender-wise Rural-to-Urban Migration in Orissa, India: An Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change


Velan, Nirmala and Ranjan Kumar Mohanty. 2016. "Gender-wise Rural-to-Urban Migration in Orissa, India: An Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change." In Inequality and Climate Change: Perspectives from the Soutlh, edited by Carlo Delgado Ramos, 137-70. Oxford: African Books Collective.

Authors: Nirmala Velan, Ranjan Kumar Mohanty



"Overall, [this paper] attempts to gauge the determinants of rural to urban migration and the adaptability of rural households under environmental change. An understanding of who migrates, under what circumstances, how far and why, would provide a deeper insight into the nature, type and cause of migration, facilitating policy making for their welfare and for those who do not migrate. Therefore, the main objectives of the study are to:

i) gain an overview the variations in socio-economic background of the
respondent households by migrant status before and after migration/given
period by gender in Puri district, Orissa;

ii) analyse the factors inducing gender-wise rural to urban migration among
the rural households in the study area;

iii) examine the impacts of migration in terms of the benefits gained and
problems experienced by the migrants and their families;

iv) survey the reasons for non-migration by gender; and

v) assess the impact of climate change on poverty and income inequality of
the sample households by gender and migrant status" (Velan and Mohanty 2016, 139-40).

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2016

Gendered Politics of Funerary Processions: Contesting Indian Sovereignty in Kashmir


Malik, Inshah. 2018. “Gendered Politics of Funerary Processions: Contesting Indian Sovereignty in Kashmir.” Economic & Political Weekly 53 (47): 63-66.

Author: Inshah Malik


On 8 July 2016, Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani was killed by the Indian army, setting in motion unprecedented funerary processional grieving. Using accounts of funerals of militants and civilians, gendered funerary processions and the transformation of gendered cultures of grieving in Kashmir have been analysed. It is argued that women’s participation in the militant and civilian funerary processions is a feminist political formulation in the Kashmiri context. This is understood through a review of the politics of funeral attendance and two specific actions that women undertake: publicising grief by bringing the private out into the contested public realm, thus outdoing religious law, and resisting the state’s sovereignty by grieving for lives that the state deems “non-grievable.”

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Political Participation, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018


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