Presentation on theme: "Development and The Social Construction of Gender in India Anja Kovacs Room 2.73 16 March 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Development and The Social Construction of Gender in India Anja Kovacs Room March 2007
The face of Indian women?
Indicators of womens status Sex ratios (Census of India): 1901: : : : : 933
Indicators of womens status
Sex ratios Literacy Rates (Census of India): General: (1991: 51.63) Men: Women: 54.28
Indicators of womens status Sex ratios Literacy Rates Womens labour market participation Womens (lack of) property rights
Explanations? Organisation of households in India Social and cultural norms, influenced by caste/class and religion Laws of Manu (IX, 3): Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence. Laws of Manu (IX, 6): Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to guard their wives.
Consumerist Capitalism and Gender Increasing evidence in India that development processes are profoundly biased against women and contribute to an increase in gender inequity, rather than a decrease. Example: spread of dowry in South India (Kapadia 2002)
Powerless Women/Oppressive Men? World Bank (1991: xv), Gender and Poverty in India: The cultures very definition of the female is her association with the inside – the home. By contrast, men belong to the outside, where livelihoods are earned and political power is wielded Larger agenda? Efficient women vs irresponsible men
Powerless Women/Oppressive Men? Women are not (always) powerless model-explanations do not hold to same extent for everyone everywhere norms and practice do not necessarily overlap spaces for power within traditional roles Not all men have economic and political power
Women and the Hindu Right
(Feminist) Agency? But at whose expense?
Women and arrack in Andra Pradesh
Additional References Kapadia, Karin (2002). Translocal modernities and transformations of gender and caste. In Karin Kapadia (ed.), The violence of development: The politics of identity, gender and social inequalities in India. London: Zed. Raheja, Gloria Goodwin and Ann Grodzins Gold (1994). Listen to the herons words: reimaging gender and kinship in North India. Berkeley: University of California Press.