Mining and Women: The Case of the Maria of Chhattisgarh


Mukherjee, S. 2014. “Mining and Women: The Case of the Maria of Chhattisgarh.” Social Change 44 (2): 229–47. doi:10.1177/0049085714525500.

Author: S. Mukherjee


This paper attempts to understand the changes that have been ushered in the lives of the Maria tribal community of Chhattisgarh due to mining, industrialisation and other development activities. The repercussions of these activities on the tribal society have been differential as various sections of a community respond to development initiatives in variety of ways. The Maria are also no different. In this work, focus has been laid on the lives of the Maria with special reference to their women, how they have undergone transformation due to mining and other allied activities.

This study argues that the impact of mining and industrialisation on the Maria community is multifarious. Perceptible differences are observed in men and women in their responses to development. This study takes a position that lack of control over reproductive, productive, domestic and political resources is mediated through existing cultural norms and ideologies. Notions of patriarchy, cultural perception of sexual division of labour, ritual and religious prohibitions associated with women are all instrumental in perpetuating their subordination and exclusion. This is not to argue that development has adverse affects on women’s lives but to point out that gender insensitivity at the level of planners and administrators has its own fallouts.

Keywords: mining, Maria of Chhattisgarh, development and exclusion, gender, Tribal women

Topics: Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014

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