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India

Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations

Citation:

Standal, Karina, and Tanja Winther. 2016. “Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (1): 27–45.

Authors: Karina Standal, Tanja Winther

Abstract:

Electricity provides a range of desirable services such as the electric light and the use of mobile phones and is regarded as a conditional factor for economic growth. Gender equality and women's empowerment are also promoted as a key to development on the international agenda. However, relatively little is known about how the advent of electricity in new contexts affects gender relations. The present analysis of electricity's impact on gender relations engages with the concepts of care work and empowerment. Based on two ethnographic case studies in rural communities in Uttar Pradesh, India, and Bamiyan, Afghanistan, we examine how and to what extent the introduction of electricity affected women’s care work practices and empowerment – and potentially transformed gender relations. We also draw on our own empirical material from other parts of India (West Bengal and Jharkhand). We find that electricity affected everyday life in terms of providing important resources and enhancing women’s opportunities to perform their expected role as care workers more efficiently and in a qualitatively better way. The women appreciated this positive effect of electricity in their everyday lives. However, we argue that in India, electricity at the same time reinforced structures of gender inequality such as patriarchy and dowry practices, and we trace this tendency to the conceptualisation of women as care workers in combination with conventional, gender ‘neutral’ electricity interventions. In contrast, there are signs that women’s status increased in the Afghanistan case, which we link to the unusual inclusion of women engineers in the electricity supply.

Keywords: electricity, gender relations, empowerment, care work, India, Afghanistan

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India

Year: 2016

Boarding Mumbai Trains: The Mutual Shaping of Intersectionality and Mobility

Citation:

Kusters, Annelies. 2019. “Boarding Mumbai Trains: The Mutual Shaping of Intersectionality and Mobility.” Mobilities 14 (6): 841–58.

Author: Annelies Kusters

Abstract:

This article analyses how intersectionality and mobility shape each other in the case of deaf women who board the Mumbai suburban trains, which have separate compartments reserved for women and for people with disabilities. These compartments being adjacent, deaf women often make last-minute decisions where to board, and even happen to switch compartments at a further station. Here, intersectionality shapes mobility in that it entails a complex and changeable, context-dependent set of strategies and decisions. Mobility shapes intersectionality in that by being mobile, people assert or develop different aspects of their lived experiences, preferences and aspirations.

Keywords: crowding, commuting, women, gender, deaf, ladies compartments

Topics: Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Transportation, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal

Citation:

Leder, Stephanie, Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, and Panchali Saikia. 2019. “Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 105–29.

Authors: Stephanie Leder , Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, Panchali Saikia

Abstract:

Collective farming has been suggested as a potentially useful approach for reducing inequality and transforming peasant agriculture. In collectives, farmers pool land, labor, irrigation infrastructure, agricultural inputs and harvest to overcome resource constraints and to increase their bargaining power. Employing a feminist political ecology lens, we reflect on the extent to which collective farming enables marginalized groups to engage in smallholder agriculture. We examine the establishment of 18 farmer collectives by an action research project in the Eastern Gangetic Plains, a region characterised by fragmented and small landholdings and a high rate of marginalised and landless farmers. We analyze ambivalances of collective farming practices with regard to (1) social relations across scales, (2) intersectionality and (3) emotional attachment. Our results in Saptari/ Eastern Terai in Nepal, Madhubani/Bihar, and Cooch Behar/West Bengal in India demonstrate how intra-household, group and community relations and emotional attachments to the family and neighbors mediate the redistribution of labor, land, produce and capital. We find that unequal gender relations, intersected by class, age, ethnicity and caste, are reproduced in collective action, land tenure and water management, and argue that a critical feminist perspective can support a more reflective and relational understanding of collective farming processes. Our analysis demonstrates that feminist political ecology can complement commons studies by providing meaningful insights on ambivalences around approaches such as collective farming. 

Keywords: agriculture, collective action, collective farming, commons, feminist political ecology, FPE, gender, India, irrigation, land, Nepal, water

Topics: Age, Agriculture, Caste, Class, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal

Year: 2019

Imperial Democracies, Militarised Zones, Feminist Engagements

Citation:

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 2011. “Imperial Democracies, Militarised Zones, Feminist Engagements.” Economic and Political Weekly 46 (13): 76–84.

Author: Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Annotation:

Summary:
The post-11 September 2001 consolidation of imperial democracies and securitised regimes in the United States, Israel, and India mobilise anatomies of violence anchored in colonial legacies and capitalist profitmaking. These regimes utilise specific and connected racial and gendered ideologies and practices at their social and territorial borders - in the US-Mexico borderlands, the West Bank and Gaza, and the Kashmir Valley. They exercise militarised and masculinised forms of control, surveillance and dispossession that illuminate the contours of national political subjectivities and the uneven construction of citizenship. These imperial democracies militarise all domains of social life, and discipline or imprison not just abandoned and criminalised communities, but all state subjects. The essay suggests that an alternative vision of connectivity and solidarity requires building ethical, cross-border feminist solidarities that confront neoliberal militarisation globally. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Violence Regions: MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: India, Israel, United States of America

Year: 2011

Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation

Citation:

Singh, Chandni. 2019. “Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation.” Migration and Development, March 15. https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2019.1589073.

Author: Chandni Singh

Abstract:

Rapid environmental change, increasing climate variability, land fragmentation, and underlying institutional lacunae have shaped rural livelihoods in India. Increasingly, rural-urban migration has been a significant livelihood strategy to manage risks, meet aspirations, and move out of increasingly unprofitable agriculture. I argue that this movement of people is changing shape household structures, and the metrics to assess these transitions, often through categories of male- and female-headed households, fall short in understanding the experiences and outcomes of migration. Using a household survey (n = 825) and life history interviews (n = 16) to study rural-urban migration in South India, I demonstrate that shifting household configurations due to migration and commuting have implications for the risk management strategies people undertake. This calls for an expanded understanding of the ‘household’, which captures the realities of multi-local households, and consequently, for an expanded conceptualisation of ‘local adaptation’. Such an understanding is sensitive to the ‘beyond-local’ flows and networks that shape household risk management behaviour and has implications for improving the effectiveness of climate change adaptation interventions.

Keywords: migration, aspirations, intra-household dynamics, gender, adaptation, India, climate change

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

Year: 2019

Asian Fury: Gender, Orientalism and the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear ‘Threat’ in US Foreign Policy Discourse, 1998 – 2009

Citation:

Vaughan, Tom. 2013. “Asian Fury: Gender, Orientalism and the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear ‘Threat’ in US Foreign Policy Discourse, 1998 – 2009.” Working Paper No. 09-13, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Author: Tom Vaughan

Abstract:

Since India and Pakistan each carried out their second tests of nuclear weapons in 1998, US foreign policy discourse and Western media has often taken as fact the 'threat' of nuclear conflict in the region. This dissertation argues that a critical constructivist approach is required when studying Indo-Pakistani nuclear relations, given the inadequacies of structural realism and its unhelpful assumptions about the 'nature' of international politics. Since realist accounts make up the majority of recent literature on the subject, this dissertation aims to provide an alternative account, examining how US foreign policy discourse constructs the condition of threat through representations of the US, India and Pakistan. Using a discourse analysis methodology, I investigate the gendered and orientalist constructions of India and Pakistan which contribute to the mainstream perception of nuclear threat on the South Asian subcontinent. In a two-part analysis, I examine the effect that the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks have had on the US discourse around Indo-Pakistani nuclear behaviour. I find that the US discourse changes significantly over time. From the 1998 tests onwards, a direct and imminent nuclear threat to international security is constructed. After 9/11, this threat is increasingly negated. Across both periods, the US discourse constitently feminises and orientalises India and Pakistan in relation to a dominant US masculinity – practices which are instrumental in the representation of threat – although the uses and effects of these representational practices shift over time. The discursive changes observed demonstrate how 'radical breaks' in history can change knowledge about international politics, and illustrate how US foreign policy discourse reconfigures the US's global identity after 9/11.

Keywords: United States, India, Pakistan, nuclear, non-proliferation, Foucault, discourse, gender, orientalism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan, United States of America

Year: 2013

Why Women Must Reject Nuclearisation

Citation:

Sangari, Kumkum, Neeraj Malik, Sheba Chhachhi, and Tanika Sarkar. 2001. "Why Women Must Reject Nuclearisation." In Out of the Nuclear Shadow, edited by Smitu Kothari and Zia Mian, 155-163. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Kumkum Sangari, Neeraj Malik, Sheba Chhachhi, Tanika Sarkar

Annotation:

Summary:
"A bomb does not discriminate, nuclearisation does. A nuclear bomb when dropped on any population does not distinguish between Hindus and Muslims, poor or rich, civilian or military, child or adult, men or women. However nuclearisation -- developing, manufacturing and maintaining nuclear weapons -- affects special social groups in particular ways. 
 
"India's decision to become a nuclear weapons state has a profoundly negative impact on women's lives. Women, being already disadvantaged within existing social and familial structures, will bear a larger part of the social cost of nuclearisation" (Sangari et al. 2001, 155).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2001

'The Militarization of All Hindudom’? The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bomb, and the Political Spaces of Hindu Nationalism

Citation:

Corbridge, Stuart. 1999. “‘The Militarization of All Hindudom’? The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bomb, and the Political Spaces of Hindu Nationalism.” Economy and Society 28 (2): 222–55.

Author: Stuart Corbridge

Abstract:

This paper examines the means by which the Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) and its allies have sought to reinvent the political spaces of India (Hindudom). It describes the gendered rituals of pilgrimage and spatial representation that allow Hindu nationalists to position Bharat Mata(Mother India) as a geographical entity under threat from Islam and in need of the protective armies of Lord Rama. It also explores the geopolitical claims of the BJP and its attempts to position Greater India as a Great Power. The explosion of three nuclear devices in the Rajasthan desert on 11 May 1998 can be linked to this geopolitical imaginary. The paper argues, however, that the nuclear tests were triggered by the weakness of the BJP in India's centrist Political landscapes. The ‘militarization of all Hindudomis’ is sternly contested.

Keywords: Hindu nationalism, Bharatiya Janata Party, political space, Yatras, militarization, secularism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Religion, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1999

Militarism and Women in South Asia

Citation:

Chenoy, Anuradha M. 2002. Militarism and Women in South Asia. New Delhi: Kali for Women.

Author: Anuradha M. Chenoy

Annotation:

Summary:
This book traces the course of militarism in several South Asian states, with a more detailed account of women's experiences of it in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This closely argued, detailed analysis of the growing militarism in South Asia presents not just the phenomenon, but all its ramifications, examining its manifestations across the region from a feminist perspective for the first time. (Summary from Google Books)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Understanding Militarism
 
2. National Security Doctrines and Feminist Critiques
 
3. Bangladesh: Poverty and Militarism
 
4. Militarism in Pakistan
 
5. Sri Lanka: Militarization of State and Society
 
6. Militarizing India

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Year: 2002

The Search for a Scientific Temper: Nuclear Technology and the Ambivalence of India’s Postcolonial Modernity

Citation:

Chacko, Priya. 2011. “The Search for a Scientific Temper: Nuclear Technology and the Ambivalence of India’s Postcolonial Modernity.” Review of International Studies 37 (1): 185–208.

Author: Priya Chacko

Abstract:

This article examines the relationship between India's nuclear programme and its postcolonial identity. In particular, I argue that making sense of the anomalies and contradictions of India's nuclear behaviour, such as the gap of two decades between its nuclear tests, its promotion of nuclear disarmament and its failure to sign non-proliferation and test-ban treaties requires an understanding of the racially gendered construction of India's postcolonial modernity and the central roles given to science and morality within it. I suggest that India's postcolonial identity is anchored in anticolonial discourses that are deeply ambivalent toward what was viewed as a Western modernity that could provide material betterment but was also potentially destructive. What was desired was a better modernity that took into account what was believed to be Indian civilisation's greater propensity toward ethical and moral conduct. India's nuclear policies, such as its pursuit of nuclear technology and its promotion of disarmament cannot be seen in isolation from the successes and failures of this broader project of fashioning an ethical modernity.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Nationalism, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

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