The Dalit Feminist Standpoint: Revisiting a Debate on Feminism and Intersectionality

The last two decades of the 20th century were marked by the increasing visibility of third world feminist struggles. In the Indian context, specifically, there was an assertion of caste identity and consciousness and the role of caste in the need to strengthen social movements and transformative politics was discussed. 

In the early 1990s, the emergence of independent and autonomous Dalit women’s organisations and discourses prompted debates around the questions of “difference” in feminist politics. This dialogue between Gopal Guru, Sharmila Rege, and Chhaya Datar presents the crux of the debate on questions of a Dalit feminist standpoint and intersectionality in feminism.

In this feature, we map this debate in the light of the ever-relevant discussions on debrahmanising spaces—both physical and intellectual.

You can also read the full articles here.

Other works that have broadly responded to or are related to this debate:

  • Caste and Gender: Understanding Dynamics of Power and Violence, Kalpana Kannabiran, Vasanth Kannabiran, 1991
  • Work, Caste and Competing Masculinities: Notes from a Tamil Village, S Anandhi, J Jeyaranjan, Rajan Krishnan, 2002
  • Caste and Gender in a Mumbai Resettlement Site, Varsha Ayyar, 2013
  • Ruptures and Reproduction in Caste/Gender/Labour, Meena Gopal, 2013
  • The Concept of Honour: Caste Ideology and Patriarchy in Rural Maharashtra, Manisha Gupte, 2013
  • The Mathammas: Gender, Caste and the Politics of Intersectionality in Rural Tamil Nadu, Anandhi S, 2013
  • Silenced by Manu and ‘Mainstream’ Feminism: Dalit-Bahujan Women and their History, Lata P M, 2015

Ed: To contribute to a more comprehensive discussion map, please share links to other relevant articles in the comments section or write to us at edit@epw.in with the subject line— "Caste and Gender Discussion."

[Curated by Sohnee Harshey (sohnee@epw.in)]

Must Read

Do water policies recognise the differential requirements and usages of water by women and the importance of adequate availability and accessibility?
Personal Laws in India present a situation where abolishing them in the interest of gender justice also inadvertently benefits the reactionary side.   
Concerns have been raised about criminalising triple talaq now that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 has been passed as an ordinance. This reading list is to help...
Back to Top