The Complexities of Empowering Rural Indian Women (A story of Indian Panchayats)

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The Complexities of Empowering Rural Indian Women (A story of Indian Panchayats)

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title The Complexities of Empowering Rural Indian Women (A story of Indian Panchayats)
Author(s) Ansari, Rushina
Date 2015
English abstract
In the following research I strive to focus on the various aspects that influence the ‘empowerment’ issue of rural Indian women. I refer to two governmental reforms in particular - the historic ‘Women’s Reservation Bill’ (WRB) which insists on a one third participation of women at the lower tier of political structure in India called the Panchayats and the controversial ‘Two Child Norm’ (TCN) which restricts political participation of both men and women Panchayat candidates if the couple chooses to have more that two children (Buch, 2005). I spread my research over a variety of social actors relevant to this issue and use Kabeer’s (1999) three-dimensional model of dissecting empowerment that analyzes the term at an intrinsic level. It is revealed through this research and analysis that in spite of the government’s efforts through the WRB reform of providing resources to the rural women toward economic and social empowerment through political participation, the power terrains of caste, culture and religion withhold their agency. On the other hand, the tainted TCN stipulation, which in some cases has proved detrimental to women, has also shown signs of being helpful in determining the intrinsic aspect of empowerment like gaining a voice in terms of reproductive rights. Such findings however bring into focus the government’s lack of commitment and foresight in designing such reforms and hence this research helps us locate the sites of development to make the term ‘empowerment’ more meaningful.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 59
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Empowerment, Feminism, Women, Gender, Equality, Rural, India, Development, Reforms, Intrinsic, Reproductive Rights, Citizenship, Communication
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/18571 (link to this page)

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