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Predicament of Landlessness: A Critical Study of Women’s Rights over Land in Assam

Citation:

Hazarika, Kanki, and V. Sita.  2020. “Predicament of Landlessness: A Critical Study of Women’s Rights over Land in Assam.” South Asian Survey 27 (1): 19–36.

Authors: Kanki Hazarika, V. Sita

Abstract:

Land rights to women is one of the significant markers of a gender-just society. It is a basic human right that provides welfare, economic and social security, strong bargaining power and various other benefits. Ownership right over land is also critical to the citizens in terms of exercising and availing rights guaranteed by the state. Based on a narrative from the fieldwork done among the Bodos in Assam, this paper explores the significance of land rights in accessing various rights and welfare programmes and how women are affected in this regard due to lack of land rights. It discusses how a woman’s lack of rights over land can lead to a status of homelessness and place her in a socially and economically precarious position. The landlessness or homelessness status restricts her from accessing various benefits provided by the state. In this context, the paper also looks into the social construction of gendered norms on land rights of the Bodo community. Construction of societal norms on individual’s rights over landed property, inheritance are generally determined by kinship and affinal ideologies of a community. Such norms are often gendered that deny rights to women over this material resource. The most affected are the single, widow and separated women who have no support from the families. Communities having patriarchal ideologies consider women as passive, dependent and secondary subject and accordingly, gendered norms are constructed. Even the state apparatuses, which is often male-dominated, locate woman within the realm of the family and design policies for women as ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘dependents.’ The gendered norms on land rights of a community have a broader impact that goes beyond the community level and enmeshed with the affairs of the state.

Keywords: Bodo, community, citizen, land rights, norms, state, women

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

The Gendered Transformation of Land Rights and Feminisation of Hill Agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh: Insights from Field Survey

Citation:

Upadhyay, Vandana. 2020. “The Gendered Transformation of Land Rights and Feminisation of Hill Agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh: Insights from Field Survey.” In Land and Livelihoods in Neoliberal India, edited by D. Mishra, and P. Nayak, 283-307. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Vandana Upadhyay

Abstract:

This chapter investigates the transformation of land rights and changing gender distribution of work and employment in rural Arunachal Pradesh. Using a two-period time-use survey data, it is argued that in the backdrop of commercialisation of agriculture and development of informal private property rights over agricultural land, women farmers are increasingly being marginalised. On average women are spending more labour days in farm operations than men and the weekly average time spent by them in primary agricultural activities are found to be more than men in recent years. Thus, male-centric private property rights over land have emerged and explicitly expanded during a period of increasing feminisation of agriculture and higher work burden of women in crop farming as men move out from the farm to other non-farm activities.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Urbanization, Climate Linked Water Vulnerability as Impediments to Gender Equality: A Case Study of Delhi, India

Citation:

Kher, Jagriti, Savita Aggarwal, Geeta Punhani, and Sakshi Saini. "Urbanization, Climate Linked Water Vulnerability as Impediments to Gender Equality: A Case Study of Delhi, India." In Handbook of Climate Change Resilience, edited by Walter Leal Filho, 2097-124. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Jagriti Kher, Savita Aggarwal, Geeta Punhani, Sakshi Saini

Abstract:

Poor urban and rural women bear the brunt of climate change as the dwindling availability of water and other natural resources makes their lives full of drudgery. They trudge longer distances and head load water for the family and struggle with poor water quality and unsafe sanitation. Climatic changes and the non-climatic drivers such as rapid urbanization and high rate of population growth will further confound the scenario and make the lives of poor women harder.

The present study has been conducted to assess the vulnerability of poor women residing in slums of Delhi, the capital city of India, to water- and climate-linked stresses using quantitative and qualitative approaches. An index called CVI-WH was used to quantify vulnerability of the slum women; the qualitative study was done using various participatory approaches. The study has shown very high vulnerability of the slum women to climate-linked water stresses as reflected by high CVI-WH values ranging between 0.62 and 0.67 across different regions.

Therefore, if the quality of life of poor women has to be improved, it is extremely important to enhance the adaptive capacity of women to face climatic stresses and to invest in water- and sanitation-related infrastructure.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Intimate Infrastructures: The Rubrics of Gendered Safety and Urban Violence in Kerala, India

Citation:

Datta, Ayona, and Nabeela Ahmed. 2020. "Intimate Infrastructures: The Rubrics of Gendered Safety and Urban Violence in Kerala, India." Geoforum 110: 67-76.

Authors: Ayona Datta, Nabeela Ahmed

Abstract:

Urban infrastructures can enable and embody multiple forms of violence against women; from the spectacular and immediate, to the slow, everyday and intimate. Disconnections and absences of infrastructure - such as water and sanitation, to public transport and toilets - fracture peripheries and low-income neighbourhoods from resources, rights and mobility within the city, and in everyday life, enacting some of the largest tolls on women. This 'infrastructural violence' () is experienced in intimate ways by women in low-income neighbourhoods. While they lack access to adequate resources in urban settlements they simultaneously face all forms of physical violence during access to and use of water, toilets, public transport, energy use and walkways. Drawing from empirical fieldwork in the city of Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala, in southern India, we adopt an expanded notion of infrastructure that is mutually constitututive of gender-based relations of power and violence from the home to the city. Developing the rubrics of gendered safety and urban violence, we argue first, that lack of access to infrastructure is a form of intimate violence and second, that this violence is experienced and constituted through multiple scales, forms, sites and temporalities of infrastructural absence. In doing so, we further contribute to the extension of debates in feminist critical geography to critique binary constructions of gender based violence, by collapsing hierarchies of intimate and structural violence as the violence of infrastructure.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India

Citation:

Stock, Ryan, and Trevor Birkenholtz. 2020. “Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India.” Gender, Place and Culture 27 (11): 1628-51.

Authors: Ryan Stock, Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Renewable energy transitions are accelerating in the Global South. Yet many large-scale renewable energy infrastructures are developed on public lands with unknown impacts on commons access and usage. A prime example of this is the Gujarat Solar Park (GSP) in India, which is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities. The GSP is situated on 2,669 acres of previously common property, which has historically been used by female pastoralists for firewood collection. In this paper, we examine the following research questions: How do gender and caste power shape natural resource access in this region?; Does the Gujarat Solar Park exacerbate already gendered social-economic-political asymmetries? Our study utilizes a feminist political ecology framework to analyze the social dimensions of the GSP, drawing on recent work in this vein that uses a postcolonial and intersectional approach to examine the production of social difference through the spatial processes and political economy of solar energy generation. We find that the enclosure of public ‘wastelands’ to develop the Gujarat Solar Park has dispossessed resource-dependent women of access to firewood and grazing lands. This spatial dislocation is reinforcing asymmetrical social power relations at the village scale. Intersectional subject-positions are (re)produced vis-à-vis the exclusion of access to firewood in the land enclosed for the solar park. Affected women embody this dispossession through inter- and intra-village emotional geographies that cut across caste, class and gender boundaries.

Topics: Caste, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Gender and Nature in the Matrilineal Society of Meghalaya, India: Searching for Ecofeminist Perspectives

Citation:

Bhutia, Yodida, and Georgia Liarakou. 2018. "Gender and Nature in the Matrilineal Society of Meghalaya, India: Searching for Ecofeminist Perspectives." The Journal of Environmental Education 49 (4): 328-35.

Authors: Yodida Bhutia, Georgia Liarakou

Abstract:

The ecofeminist perspective of the matrilineal society of Meghalaya, India, is intriguing in that it has descent through mother, is matrilocal and daughters inherit parental property, but the different genders possibly do not agree about the relationship between women and nature. Ecofeminism has not yet been studied in a matrilineal society. The purpose of the study was to investigate qualitatively the students' ecofeminist perspectives among the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes of Meghalaya, through students who were studying in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. The sample consisted of 33 students purposefully selected to complete an open questionnaire and unstructured interviews. The responses showed that the women of this matrilineal society seem to be more ecofeminist compared with the men. However only a minority of both male and female expressed an ecofeminist worldview with respect to nature and development indicating that this concept is at early stage of development. 

 

Keywords: ecofeminism, gender, matrilineal society, Meghalaya, nature, worldviews

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne

Citation:

Holzberg, Billy, and Priya Raghavan. 2020. “Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1189–208.

Authors: Billy Holzberg, Priya Raghavan

Abstract:

Postcolonial and black feminist scholars have long cautioned against the dangerous proximity between the politics of sexual violence and the advancement of nationalist and imperial projects. In this article, we uncover what it is in particular about efforts to address sexual violence that makes them so amenable to exclusionary nationalist projects, by attending to the political aftermaths of the rape of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012, and the cases of mass sexual abuse that took place during New Year's Eve in Cologne in 2015. Tracing the nationalist discourses and policies precipitated in their wake, we demonstrate how across both contexts, the response to sexual violence was ultimately to augment the securitizing power and remit of the state—albeit through different mechanisms, and while producing different subjects of/for surveillance, control and regulation. We highlight how in both cases it is through contemporary resonances of a persistent (post)colonial echo—which enmeshes the normative female body with the idea of the nation—that sexual abuse becomes an issue of national security and the politics of sexual violence becomes tethered to exclusionary nationalisms. Revealing the more general, shared, rationalities that bind the nation to the normative female body while attending to the located political reverberations that make this entanglement so affectively potent in the distinct contexts of India and Germany helps distinguish and amplify transnational and intersectional feminist approaches to sexual violence that do not so readily accommodate nationalist ambitions.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Nationalism, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, India

Year: 2020

Understanding Women's Land Rights: Gender Discrimination in Ownership

Citation:

Chowdhry, Prem. 2017. Understanding Women's Land Rights: Gender Discrimination in Ownership. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.

Author: Prem Chowdhry

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editor's Introduction, Persisting Gender Discrimination in Land Rights
Prem Chowdhry

2. Land Rights and Land Access to Women in Andhra Pradesh
E. Revathi

3. Engendering Tribal Land Rights for Gendering the Land: A Case Study Among Apatani and Nyishi Communities
Rimi Tadu

4. Gender Issues in Landownership in Chhattisgarh: Existing Land Laws, Policies, and Practices
Ramesh Sharma

5. Women and Land Rights in the Context of Legal Propertied Equality in Goa
Ritu Dewan

6. Women Empowerment Through Landownership Rights: Critical Assessment of Their Status in Gujarat
Itishree Pattnaik

7. Gendering the Landownership Question in Jammu and Kashmir
Abha Chauhan

8. Understanding Women and Land Rights in Jharkhand
M. N. Karna

9. Land, Land Rights, and Women in Maharashtra
Ritu Dewan

10. Women's Access and Ownership of Land: A Case of Mizoram State in India
Saroj Arora

11. Gender and Land Relations in Nagaland: Emerging Issues
Khunenchu Magh

12. Persisting Inequalities: Gender and Land Rights in Rajasthan
Kanchan Mathur

13. Locating Gender in Land Rights Discourse of Sikkim
Sohel Firdos

14. Women's Land Rights in the Context of Neo-liberal Tamil Nadu
Ranjani K. Murthy

15. Gender Justice and Law: A Gender-specific Study of Landownership in Uttarakhand
Indu Pathak

 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Land Tenure, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2017

Of Vulnerability and Coercion: A Study of Sex Trafficking in Assam

Citation:

Ray, Sawmya. 2015. "Of Vulnerability and Coercion: A Study of Sex Trafficking in Assam." Sociological Bulletin 64 (3): 305-24.

Author: Sawmya Ray

Abstract:

This paper discusses the political, economic, and socio-cultural context within which trafficking of women and girls take place for commercial sexual exploitation in Assam. Specifically, it examines the relation between existing gender norms, prevailing conflict, and sex trafficking. It is based on data collected from rescued trafficked women, state and non-state anti-trafficking personnel, and case studies collected from NGOs. It argues that gendered norms intersect with existing political economy factors to doubly disadvantage women vis-à-vis trafficking, both during times of normalcy and conflict.

Keywords: Assam, gender norms, sex trafficking, sex work, violence

Topics: Economies, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2015

Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing Unexpected Enviro-Social Impacts in Bolivia, India, and Lesotho

Citation:

Cairns, Maryann R., Cassandra L. Workman, and Indrakshi Tandon. 2017. "Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing Unexpected Enviro-Social Impacts in Bolivia, India, and Lesotho." Gender, Place & Culture 24 (3): 325-42.

Authors: Maryann R. Cairns, Cassandra L. Workman, Indrakshi Tandon

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Gender mainstreaming policies and programs, meant to be gender-sensitive or to target gender issues, are increasingly implemented by both governmental and non-governmental actors. However, these projects seem set to continually aim solely at women, despite more than a decade of work encouraging broader scope. Using recent case studies from Bolivia, Lesotho, and India, we address the tensions laden in three major questions about water, gender, and development: (1) Is mandatory inclusion of women in water governance and decision-making effective?, (2) Do water development projects provide equal benefits and burdens for women and men?, and (3) In what ways are water projects and their policies impacting and impacted by gendered enviro-social spaces? By providing triangulated data from ethnographic studies in three distinct local contexts, we are able to pinpoint major cross-cutting themes that serve to highlight and interrogate the gendered impacts of water development projects’ policies: public and private lives, women’s labor expectations, and managing participation. We find that gender mainstreaming endeavors continue to fall short in their aim to equitably include women in their programming and that geographic, environmental, and socio-cultural spaces are intimately related to how these equitability issues play out. We provide practical recommendations on how to address these issues.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Las políticas y programas de transversalización de género, diseñadas para ser sensibles al género o con objetivos en temas relacionados con éste, se implementan cada vez más tanto por actores gubernamentales como no gubernamentales. Sin embargo, estos proyectos parecen programados para apuntar únicamente y en forma continua a las mujeres, a pesar de más de una década de trabajo alentando un abordaje más abarcativo. Utilizando estudios de caso recientes de Bolivia, Lesoto e India, analizamos las tensiones generadas en tres cuestiones principales acerca del agua, el género y el desarrollo: 1) ¿Es efectiva la obligatoriedad de la incorporación de las mujeres en la gobernanza y la toma de decisiones sobre el agua?, 2) ¿Los proyectos de desarrollo hídrico brindan los mismos beneficios y cargas a las mujeres que a los hombres?, y 3) ¿De qué maneras los proyectos de agua y sus políticas están impactando en los espacios socioambientales generizados, y de qué manera están siendo impactados por éstos? Ofreciendo datos triangulados de estudios etnográficos en tres contextos locales distintos, pudimos identificar importantes temas transversales que sirven para destacar e interrogar los impactos generizados de las políticas de los proyectos de desarrollo hídrico: las vidas públicas y privadas, las expectativas laborales de las mujeres y la administración de la participación. Encontramos que los esfuerzos en pos de una transversalización del género continúan teniendo sus límites en su intento por incluir de forma equitativa a las mujeres en su programación y que los espacios geográficos, ambientales y socioculturales están íntimamente relacionados con la forma en que se desarrollan estos temas de equidad. Brindamos recomendaciones prácticas sobre cómo abordar estos problemas.
 
CHINESE ABSTRACT:
理应对性别敏感或聚焦性别议题的性别主流化政策与方案,正逐渐由政府与非政府行动者实行。尽管十多年来不断鼓励扩大性别主流化的工作范畴,但这些方案似乎持续仅针对女性。我们运用玻利维亚,莱索托与印度的晚近案例研究,应对有关水,性别与发展的三大问题中充满的紧张关系:(1)强制将女性纳入水资源管理与决策是否有效?(2)水资源发展计画是否对男性与女性产生相同的效益与负担?以及(3)水资源计画及其政策以什麽方式影响性别化的环境—社会空间并受其影响?透过提供三个特殊地方脉络的民族志研究的三角交叉数据,我们得以精确定位强调并探问水资源发展计画方案的性别化冲击的主要交错议题:公共与私人生活,女性的劳动期待,以及经营参与。我们发现,性别主流化的努力,持续无法达到公平地将女性纳入计画的目标,而地理、环境和社会文化空间,与这些平等议题如何展开紧密相关。我们对如何应对上述问题提出务实的建议。

Keywords: women, water supply, equity and inclusion, NGOs, development, Mujeres, provisión de agua, equidad e inclusión, ONG, desarrollo, 女性, 水资源供给, 平等与包容, 非政府组织, 发展

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bolivia, India, Lesotho

Year: 2017

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