How Do Women Respond in the Context of Acquisition of Agricultural Land? A Micro Level Study in Semi-Urban South Bengal, India

Citation:

Kanti Das, Bidhan, and Nabanita Guha. 2016.  “How Do Women Respond in the Context of Acquisition of Agricultural Land? A Micro Level Study in Semi-Urban South Bengal, India.”  Indian Journal of Human Development 10 (2):  253-69.

Authors: Bidhan Kanti Das, Nabanita Guha

Abstract:

The state’s ‘eminent domain’ provision under colonial Land Acquisition Act, 1894 is the major cause that forcefully dispossesses the peasantry of their major means of production, that is, land. Though it facilitates rapid industrialization, it has a severe impact on affected persons that often leads to socio-economic impoverishment. Despite the existence of a significant number of studies on the relationship and impacts of development-forced displacement and resettlement in general, only a few studies focus on gender issues. Moreover, there is complete absence of studies on the consequences, which women face in the context of acquisition of agricultural land, where the affected persons are not physically relocated. Based on a micro-level field study, it tries to explore what the affected persons, particularly the women, do when the productive assets like agricultural lands have been acquired for private industries. Furthermore, it tries to examine whether there is any impact on the members of neighbouring families, particularly the women, whose lands have not been acquired. Analyzing the village-level data in an industrial zone of South Bengal, India, it is revealed that land acquisition forced the affected women to go outside for earning, thereby enhancing their position in the family in an agrarian environment. This positively affected the neighbouring women and made them engage in income-generating activities, breaking the cultural traditions of non-participation of women in outside work and patriarchal subjugation, prevalent in peasant societies of India.

Keywords: Land acquisition Act 1894, occupational change, utilisation of compensation money, South Bengal

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2016

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