ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Infliction Acceptance and Resistance

Containing Violence on Women in Rural Haryana

This study seeks to determine the effect of property ownership and economic independence of women on the reduction of violence, especially spousal violence, in rural Haryana - a state well known for its violent past and equally violent present towards women. Based on extensive fieldwork, the paper argues that the rapidly changed and changing political economy of this region has thrown up certain contradictions in society which have come to pose a challenge to the hitherto established cultural norms that decree infliction and widespread acceptance of violence upon women. Through individual life experiences of rural women, it highlights women's understanding of violence, their self-assertion and resistance as well as the importance given by them to different options in handling or containing violence.

This paper is based upon a study undertaken for United Nations (UN) Women on determining the effects of women’s property ownership and economic independence on reduction of violence against them in rural Haryana. This extensive study is available at: I wish to acknowledge the warm and generous hospitality offered by R P Hooda, Vice-Chancellor, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, which enabled me to avail of the much-needed space for research and discussions, as and when I needed it. I also wish to profoundly thank my short-term research assistants, Yudhvir Zaildar and Rekha Lohan for providing me with extremely rich inputs from the fi eld and several incisive insights. Kavita rendered a short, but able spell, and had to opt out due to her ill-health. I may add here that the use of the fi eld data, its analysis and conclusions, including all the errors which may have crept in, are strictly mine and in no way refl ect on the work of my research assistants. Last, but not the least, I wish to record my very deep appreciation and thankfulness for the help in editing and formatting of this lengthy piece of writing provided by Sugandha Nagpal and Leena Patel of UN Women, New Delhi.

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